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CONY Anticipates a Record Year as COVID-Weary Families Escape to the Great Outdoors

           If you haven’t made campground reservations yet for spring, summer or even fall, you’d better make them soon because many New York campgrounds are reporting record levels of advance reservations this year.
        You may also want to consider having some weekday dates in mind when researching availability, since weekends are booking fast.
        “Some of our members are telling us that 2021 could be their busiest year ever, even for campgrounds that have been around for 50 years or more,” said Don Bennett, Jr., president and CEO of Campground Owners of New York, which hosts, the travel planning website.
        The 200-site Spruce Row Campground & RV Park in Ithaca is a case in point.
        “Last year at this time was crazy, and the year turned into the busiest year we have ever had. This year is on par with that, probably even more so than last year,” said Scott Sherwood, who owns Spruce Row Campground & RV Park, adding, “Memorial Day is booked. Fourth of July has a couple of sites left. Almost every weekend in July is almost full already. We’ve never seen this many advance reservations.”
        Triple R Camping Resort and Trailer Sales in Franklinville is also seeing record numbers of advance reservations for its 214 campsites and six rental cabins. “We are more than double any year prior on record,” said park owner John Tinelli. “I’ve never seen this many reservations at this time. June is triple any previous June. Memorial Day and July 4th are sold out. We have weekends in July and August that will be sold out any day. Labor Day is 90 percent full already, too. And, for the first time ever in our history, Columbus Day is incredibly full and we’re not even open yet.”
        David J. King said 2021 could be the busiest in the 55-year history of Lake George RV Park in Lake George, which his father Vic King, established in 1966.
        “It’s going to be busier than ever in the history of this park,” King said of the resort, which has nearly 400 RV sites and 25 rental units. But even though summer weekends are already booking up quickly, King said there is still availability mid-week, adding, “The unprecedented demand (for campsites) will potentially push people into looking at alternative dates.”
        Bennett of Campground Owners of New York is also seeing extraordinarily high levels of advance reservations at his park, Conesus Lake Campground in Conesus, which his family has owned and operated for 59 years. “We are 120 percent of where we were last year at this time,” he said. “It’s looking like it’s going to be an epic summer.”
        Last year turned out to be a banner year for privately owned and operated New York campgrounds, despite the state-mandated business shutdowns during the initial months of the COVID-19 pandemic. 2020 business levels at some New York campgrounds were up by as much as 25 to 40 percent over 2019 figures, Bennett said.
        “Most of our members had an incredible year, despite opening four to six weeks late and despite the continued closure of the Canadian border, with record numbers of first-time campers keeping them busy throughout late spring, summer and fall,” he said. “It looks like this year is going to be even busier, which is good news for New York’s campground industry.”
        About Campground Owners of New York
        Campground Owners of New York is the trade association that represents independent campgrounds and RV parks in New York. Based in Pittsford, CONY provides education, government affairs and marketing services for campgrounds, including hosting, a travel planning website, and publishing a printed directory of New York campgrounds.


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