And they expect more of the same in 2022.
“We consider 2021 to be the busiest in the history of New York’s camping business,” said Donald G. Bennett, Jr., president and CEO of Campground Owners of New York
Privately owned and operated campgrounds across New York experienced record occupancies during the 2021 camping season, with business levels being up 15 to 20 percent at many privately owned parks.
“We consider 2021 to be the busiest in the history of New York’s camping business,” said Donald G. Bennett, Jr., the longtime president and CEO of Campground Owners of New York, a campground trade association that hosts CampNewYork.com.
“Some of our members saw their business levels increase by as much as 45 percent over last year’s figures,” said Bennett, whose own park, Conesus Lake Campground in the Finger Lakes Region, experienced a 16% percent increase in business over 2020 figures.
Some campgrounds have been so full they don’t have room to take any more campers, including Grant’s Vacation Park in Fair Haven. “We were 100 percent full this year, which was the same as last year,” said park co-owner Carroll Grant. “If I had double the number of sites I could probably rent them.”
Many campground operators affiliated with CampNewYork.com said they had sufficient campsites, cabins and other rental accommodations to increase their business this year.
Patty Jarnot, owner of Dream Lake Campground in Warsaw, said her business was up 15 to 20 percent this year. She attributed the uptick in business at her 96-site campground to multiple factors, including an increased number of campers and a high retention rate, with increasing numbers of campers returning on multiple weekends throughout the camping season.
Business was up 45 percent at Whispering Pines Campsites and RV Park in Greenfield Center, with business being fueled by the lifting of COVID restrictions and the reopening of nearby venues, such as the Saratoga Race Track and the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, according to park owners Scott and Kimberly Foro.
Pat Green, owner of Ledgeview RV Park in Lake George, said business was up 3 percent at her 213-site park, which her family has owned for 37 years. She said empty nesters fueled much of her Monday to Friday business, with increased numbers of families wanting to stay from Thursday to Sunday or Monday. “Thursdays felt like Fridays this season,” Green said, noting that she often had more check-ins on Thursdays than Fridays. “(We) finally had great numbers for midweek stays.”
Here is a sampling of business levels reported by 15 privately owned and operated campgrounds across the state of New York:
- Beaver Meadow Family Campground in Java Center: Business at this campground was even with 2020 levels. The campground, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2019, has 260 sites and two rental cabins. https://beavermeadowcampground.com/
- Conesus Lake Campground in Conesus: Business levels at this 163 site park were up by 16% percent in 2021. The campground features 6 rental units. http://www.conesuslakecampground.com/
- Dream Lake Campground in Warsaw: Business was up 15 to 20 percent at this 96-site campground, which has four rental units, including two cabins. http://dreamlakecampground.com/
- Grants Vacation Park in Fair Haven: Business levels at this 70-site park doubled in 2021, according to park owners Carroll Grant and Randy Case. http://www.grantsvacationpark.com/
- Lake Bluff Campground in Wolcott: Business was up 20 percent at this campground in 2021. The park has 153 campsites and four rental cabins. https://www.lakebluffcampground.com/
- Lebanon Reservoir Campground in Hamilton: Business levels at this campground were up 20 percent in 2021. The campground has 150 campsites, many of which are lakefront, and two rental cabins. https://lebanoncampground.com/
- Ledgeview RV Park in Lake George: Business levels were up 3 percent at this 213-site campground, which has three rental units, including two RVs and one park model. https://www.ledgeview.com/
- Leisurewood Campground in Akron: Business levels at this park were “way up” in 2021, according to Jessica Wolcott, sales and rentals manager for this 910-site park. The campground sits on a 150-acre wooded area 25 miles east of Buffalo. http://www.leisurewoodcampground.com/
- Medina Wildwood Lake KOA in Medina: Business levels were up 9 percent in 2021 at this 350-site campground, which has six cabins and 14 other rental units, which include 10 lodges and 4 glamping tents. https://koa.com/campgrounds/medina/
- Natural Bridge / Watertown KOA in Natural Bridge: Business was up 15 percent this year at this 71-site campground, which has two rental cabins. https://koa.com/campgrounds/watertown/
- Niagara Woodland Campground in Ransomville: 2021 business levels were up 35 percent at this 168-site campground serving the greater Niagara Falls area. https://niagarawoodlandcamp.com/
- Paradise Cove Campground in Durhamville: 2021 business levels at this 120-site park were equal with 2020 figures. https://www.paradisecovecampground.net/
- So-Hi Campground in Accord: Business levels were up 15 percent in 2021 at this 75-site campground, which features a lake, miniature golf, a kids playground and basketball and volleyball courts. http://www.sohicampground.com/
- Triple R Camping Resort in Franklinville: Business was up 40 percent this year at this 207-site campground, which has six rental cabins and opened the new Leekee Lagoon spray pad and expanded water recreation area, delayed by a year due to the pandemic. https://www.triplercamp.com/
- Whispering Pines Campsites & RV Park in Greenfield Center: Business at this park was up 45 percent in 2021, according to park owners Scott and Kimberly Foro. www.saratogacamping.com