California Campgrounds Report A Strong Increase In Occupancies This Year, Thanks In Part to Great Weather and Lower Fuel Costs


Debbie Sipe 

California Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds 

(530) 885-1624 

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AUBURN, Calif., Sept. 2, 2015 — People have been hitting the road in greater numbers across much of California this year, according to campground operators. 


From San Diego to the Klamath River, near the Oregon border, many private campgrounds are reporting higher occupancies from January through Labor Day than the same period last year.

“Great weather and lower fuel costs have encouraged more people to travel across the state,” said Debbie Sipe, executive director of the California Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds, which hosts, the statewide travel planning website. 


“Our San Diego traffic is up about 17 percent,” said Clint Bell, general manager of the San Diego Metro KOA in Chula Vista, adding, “I think people are getting out to explore the nation a little more.” 


Further north, the 400-site Pismo Coast Village RV Resort in Pismo Beach has seen a 9 percent increase in occupancies this year, said Jay 

Jamison, the park’s general manager. 


“We’ve have had good weather throughout the year. We really didn’t have a winter. We haven’t had a lot of fog this year, either. We also had a lot of kids here this year with the staggered school schedules,” Jamison said. “People feel good about getting out.” 


In the Sierra foothills, 49er Village RV Resort in Plymouth has seen a 20 to 25 percent increase in occupancies so far this year, said Chuck Hays, the park’s co-owner. 


“There is no question that consumer confidence has returned,” he said, adding, “We are sold out for the Labor Day holiday for the first time in at least 20 years or since school starting opening mid-August.” 


In extreme Northern California, Kamp Klamath in Klamath has seen its occupancies increase by 50 percent, said park owner Aaron Funk. “There are a lot of reasons for the increase in business,” he said. “There are more people out camping. We’re getting great reviews as well as lots of return business and referrals,” he said. 


The only campgrounds that haven’t fared as well this year as last year are lakefront campgrounds that have been negatively affected by the drought and declining water levels. 


Campgrounds in other Western states are also reporting an increase in business levels this year. Billings, Mont.-based Kampgrounds of America (KOA) said its occupancies are up 4.5 percent overall in California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and Colorado, according to Mike Gast, KOA’s vice president of communications. 


Consumers can find private campgrounds in their area by checking In addition to information on scenic and historical attractions and festivals across the state, the site includes links to RV parks and campgrounds, which often provide their own event calendars that list things happening both at and near the campground. 


For additional commentary, statistics and sources on the latest camping trends in campgrounds and RV resorts or for leads on parks in your news coverage area, please contact Debbie Sipe at the California Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds at (530) 885-1624.