The long-awaited relief from a winter that broke records in high snow accumulation, low temperatures and long stretches of cold is bringing reports from all sectors in the campground industry that pre-season activities are getting back on track – welcome news for park operators and suppliers alike. Even in mid-March, when most summer-season campgrounds would normally be getting into opening-day preparations and purchases, things were still extremely quiet on the northern front.

Woodall’s Campground Management reported that in early to mid-April saw the beginning of a thaw that finally loosened up operators’ ability to both clean up and stock their properties. “The northern campgrounds have really picked back up,” said Matt Lodestro of New York-based Jamestown Advanced Products, who reported a good response to the company’s spring power-outlet promotion. “We are definitely starting to see a nice influx of customers getting ready for their spring projects and are anticipating a great season.”

Campground store supplier All Things Jerky in Appleton, Wis., had a rough start, according to owner Jessica Ellenbecker, but it looks like they’ll be able to catch up. “We are doing our regular events as planned and may even add a few new ones,” she stated. “We shouldn’t have any problem rebounding from the harsh winter.”

Wendy Shim, president of specialty bicycle and pedal kart manufacturer Trailmate Inc. in Bradenton, Fla., wasn’t so sure. The delivery of products for Trailmate’s booth at an owners’ association convention was delayed by bad weather, leaving the booth empty for the first day of the trade show when attendees are most energized and more likely to buy.

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