You know that nothing is quite as much fun as spending time with family camping in the outdoors. But a massive surge in the popularity of camping has created a supply and demand mismatch at America’s campgrounds. Allison Pohle reports in The Wall Street Journal:
Many public campgrounds have moved reservations online, which campsite managers say helps with staffing. Reservations also help reassure visitors that they will have a spot, unlike first-come, first-served campsites.
No-shows are difficult to track because not all campsites are staffed at check-in or checkout. But complaints about no-shows have increased, several state park officials say.
No-show policies vary widely by state, says Sascha Ohler, senior vice president for outdoor recreation at Tyler Technologies. The company provides online reservation software for state campground sites, including those serving Ohio and Florida.
In some cases, campsite managers can’t release spots until the morning after the no-show visitor’s scheduled arrival date to accommodate anyone having problems reaching the site. Campsite hosts say this means they have to deal with angry customers who don’t understand why they can’t immediately claim a campsite that appears to be empty.
No-shows complicate plans for both local and out-of-town campers, says Chris Wolstenholme, owner of Around the Park RV Rentals, a rental agency in Denver and Jackson Hole, Wyo.
He says many campgrounds often have little cellphone or internet reception, so it can be difficult for staffers to update campsite availability quickly.
Action Line: You can learn a lot about boating from camping. For example, like in-demand campsites, when it comes to making reservations for moorings or slips in popular places like Martha’s Vineyard, online booking forces you to book months in advance to avoid being shut out. It’s a tough call when weather is such a major factor in deciding to stay or go. Make your plans early. Click here to subscribe to my free monthly Survive & Thrive letter and become a Survivor.
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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