Minnesota Resort and Campground Association has better than average season
In a Minnesota Resort and Campground Association survey rating the occupancy of the 2012 season, nearly 70 percent of respondents proclaimed the season "good" or better. Forty-seven percent said their summer season occupancy was "good but not a record-breaker," while 22 percent said it was "about the best we've ever had."
Sixteen percent of participants said it was "pretty average" and 14 percent called it "not so great." No one deemed it "terrible." The weather and the economy are to blame or credit, depending on who responded.
The weather impacted business for some business owners, with the heat in some cases sending vacationers dashing to the relative coolness of northern Minnesota and the lakes. In other cases, storms including Duluth's June flood disrupted businesses and required expensive clean-up efforts and lost reservations.
The economy also continued to play a role in how resort and campground owners viewed their season. Dan McElroy, MRCA's executive vice president, said that extras were not being purchased and guests are downsizing their cabin size or shortening their stays.
Also evident from the survey, gas prices still have an effect on tourism. Consumers continue to seek deals as they plan vacations.
More Minnesota hospitality business owners commented on how they think people are tired of staying home and are craving a return to family vacations, which they may have forgone the last few years.
About 60 resort and campground operators participated in the survey, with 43 percent from the central region, 32 percent from the Northeast, 19 percent from the Northwest, 5 percent from Southern Minnesota and 1 percent in the Twin Cities. The respondents represented 29 percent resorts, 22 percent campgrounds and 19 percent with both cabins and campsites.