U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar visited Ohio’s Cuyahoga Valley National Park today (June 2) to announce several “fee-free weekends” this summer at national parks.
Representing the recreation vehicle industry at the event was a travel trailer provided by Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) member Airstream Inc., a Thor Industries Inc. subsidiary.
The initiative is designed to stimulate visits to national parks, which boost economic activity in communities surrounding parks, according to a news release. The “fee-free weekends” will permit people to enter national parks at no charge during one weekend per month between June and September. In addition to announcing the “fee-free weekends,” Salazar is expected to discuss the economic benefits of Americans enjoying outdoor recreation.
“Outdoor recreation is vital to local businesses and to ancillary industries like ours,” said Bob Wheeler, Airstream president and CEO, who is expected to speak at the event. “National parks and access to camping destinations are important to our customers.”
The “fee-free weekends” are likely to attract more of America’s 30 million RVers to national parks this summer. Surveys of RV owners conducted by RVIA show that national parks continue to be a popular destination for RVers. More than 63% said RVing at a national park was a favorite activity in RVIA’s spring survey.
“RVers have always loved the outdoors and the natural world,” said Richard Coon, RVIA president. “The future of camping in the national parks will be increasingly green RVs that help families take eco-friendly and cost-effective vacations.”
Surveys also show that RVers are conservation-minded and protective of the environment. For example, 77% recycle on RV trips vs. 57% who recycle on other kinds of vacations. RV manufacturers are making green RVing easier than ever with eco-friendly features, materials and components.