Certain RV campground operators on the Kenai Peninsula, south of Anchorage, Alaska, are quite upbeat about the coming tourist season, but others are not, according to the Alaska Journal of Commerce.
The campground operators near Seward are optimistic, the Journal reports. For example, Lynn Hettick, owner of Bear Creek RV Park, said her reservations are up 30% over last year’s levels, despite the fact two more RV parks opened nearby within the past year and the city of Seward will open a city-maintained, full hook-up RV park on the waterfront in a few weeks.
Despite that prospect, Hettick said, she does not have to compete against an Alaska state park campground, as is the case with RV parks on other parts of the peninsula. Also, she does not have to compete against Fred Meyer, a Northwest regional superstore chain similar to Wal-Mart that also allows RVers to use its parking lot for overnight stays.
Stoney Creek RV Park is one of the new campgrounds that opened near Seward, and Manager Darlene Emery said demand for spaces is strong there too.
Stoney Creek was developed originally to house construction workers who built a highway nearby. Now that the highway is finished, it has been converted into an RV park.
But Hettick admits she is worried about the summer of 2004 because of competition from the city-owned RV park.
The city plans to charge RVers $17 a night for spaces, which is considerably less that privately owned campgrounds, and provide 50-amp electric service, which is too expensive for private campgrounds to install.
Meanwhile, near the community of Sterling, Debbie Bass, co-owner of Bing Brown’s RV Park & Motel, said her reservations are down 25% from last year.
Bass believes many RVers from the U.S. are afraid to travel through Canada to Alaska this year because of the SARS outbreak, even though the SARS outbreak has been limited to Toronto.
Matt Marotzke, co-owner of Edgewater RV Park in Soldotna, also reported his reservations are down around 20% versus last year. But he added, “I’m still optimistic that it’s going to improve.”