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Retail sales of park models, the units that resemble manufactured homes but are found in many RV campgrounds, increased 6.5% in 2000, according to Statistical Surveys Inc., and independent market research firm.

There were 6,082 park models sold during 2000, compared with 5,711 units retailed during 1999, Statistical Surveys reported.

However, 2000 ended on a sour note for park model dealers. Retail sales declined 15.4% during the fourth quarter to 1,228 units. Sales also were down 10.8% in December to 296 units.

The first quarter of 2000 was the best last year for the park model sector, Statistical Surveys reported. Retail sales increased 16.5% during the first quarter to 1,268 units.

Park model retail sales also were strong during the second and third quarters of 2000. Sales increased 13% during the second quarter to 1,852 units and retail volume was up 13.1% in the third quarter to 1,734 units.