Posts Tagged ‘National Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds’

A new generation of Americans searching for ways to have fun in a wobbly economy is giving a boost to the 100-year-old RV industry.

Wholesale deliveries of RVs to retailers totaled 84,500 in the first four months of 2010, nearly double the total from the same period last year, the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association reported last week.

Some RV camps and resorts are seeing double-digit percentage jumps in occupancy and in new faces, according to Linda Profaizer, president and CEO of the National Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds. “It had been mainly the 55-plus,” she says. “The fastest-growing segment is the younger market – 35 to 47 – younger people entering the market with families.”

Reasons: Affordability, a return to simple pleasures and a desire to get kids outdoors and away from electronic screens.

Don’t own an RV? They can be rented and delivered to a campsite at any of the 14,000 RV camps and resorts in the U.S. and Canada. About 8,000 camps are privately-run. The rest are in public parks.

Campgrounds and resorts are adding amenities to offer more than simply a site to pitch a tent or park a pop-up camper. Their goal is to keep city slickers entertained and comfortable.
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Baby boomers flush with cash and a persistent wanderlust are flocking to Lee County’s recreational vehicle parks in record numbers.

For a crippled economy, the revival of the RV industry with the hundreds of millions of dollars it brings to Southwest Florida comes at a good time.

In 2009, about 37,000 RV and campground users in Lee County poured $228 million into the local economy — an increase of 35 percent over 2008. It’s the only area of tourism that grew over the prior year, according to the Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau.

From December 2009 through March, RVers added $123 million to the local economy.

The days of “trailer trash” are over, said Linda Profaizer, president and CEO of the National Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds. “That’s old, historic thinking. Today’s parks are upscale and filled with people who have been successful in life.”

Lee County’s 79 RV resorts – home for a few days or year round for residents – also contribute almost $300,000 annually to Lee’s tax base from license fees. They add a portion of an estimated $25 million to the county’s bed tax, which is used for beach renourishment and tourism promotion.

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