For the Bortle family, taking a vacation at Delta Lake State Park in the town of Western, N.Y., is tradition.

But, according to a report in the Utica Observer Dispatch, Amanda Bortle said they can’t help but reap the financial benefits, as well.

“We do local camping to save on gas,” she said.

Officials and campground owners point to the warm, dry summer and the ever-struggling economy for reasons why camping thrives in the area, and this year, the state’s Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Spokesman Dan Keefe said camping reservations are up 5% from last year.

“The economy is still tough, so people are looking for affordable options, and our state parks provide that,” Keefe said. “It’s a timeless thing to do in the summer.”

Both Delta Lake and Verona Beach State Park numbers for reserved nights were up, 574 and 126, Keefe said.

Mike Papp, chairman of Campground Owners of New York (CONY) and owner of West Canada Creek Campsites in Poland, said across the state campground attendance has increased.

Along with great weather and a goal to save money, Papp said more amenities at campgrounds have made camping more attractive.

“In the old days, if you had a swimming pool you were on top of the game,” he said. “Now it’s Wi-Fi, bounce pillows, splash parks. It’s a lot more than just camping and a pool.”

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