Arizona RV parks are reporting a snowbird incursion is underway. While some parks say their visitation rates are on a par with this time last year, others say they've seen an increase in RV traffic.
Trade group, Arizona Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds, spokesman, Jo Ann Mickelson says, "If anything, we see a little comeback in the economy. Even 1 or 2 percentage points is a little bit of a boost in the economy." Mesa Spirit Mesa Resort near Phoenix echoes Mickelson's view, reporting reservations are up 2 to 3 percent. Further south and west in Casa Grande, Palm Creek Golf & RV Resort reports a 3% increase in bookings.
Along the frontier, Yuma RV resorts are having a good winter. Rolle’s Lynda Vista RV Park park manager Ruth Conti crows, "“Things are busy. I haven’t had a cancellation in years.”
While no hard statistics are available, visual signs at the Snowbird Capital of the World, Quartzsite, seem to hold weight to similar thinking. One long-time Quartzsite watcher tells us, "I'm seeing RVs parked in spots they've never been before." Just driving through the area on Interstate 10 shows rigs stacked up nearly to the freeway fence, with RVers making mad dashes for vendor tents and shows.
And the trend may last. Mickelson, for her part, owns J and H RV Park in Flagstaff. But even though northern Arizona is in the midst of winter’s grip, she’s already receiving reservations for the coming summer. "I’m having lots of reservations and inquiries coming in every day now," she said. "That’s a good sign. That’s what we want. I feel people are thinking about what they want to do, whether it’s for the winter months or the summer."
stock photo, R&T DeMaris