2011 travel observations
Left beautifully cold Ohio, but dry roads, first of January. First stop (after getting dash heater fixed at Tom Johnsons RV) was St Augustine Fl. Campground was less than 50% full, crowds were moderate in St Augustine. Left for a week at Disney Fort Wilderness. Were in the 1200 loop. I would estimate the campgrounds were,at times, less than 50% full. A few of the loops had only 3 or 4 sites occupied. Was very surprised, this was the least number we have ever seen, in all the years we've been coming to Ft Wilderness.
Next stop, Lazy Days, Seffner Fl. Once again the grounds were very empty when we arrived but the next week was the FMA Rally and right after that the Discovery Rally so the fill rate was pretty good. Oh yea, the strawberry shortcake at Parksdale was great as ever!! While there we took friday to go to the Tampa RV show. Was very impressed with the numbers of folks there and the numbers of coaches with sold signs in them. Also of note was that the majority of sold signs were in the upper level coaches. One thing we noticed at Lazy Days was the number of coaches on the lot. This time last year there was not much of anything to look at. Fast forward to this year, there were so many upper end coaches, that in addition to having the normal parking slots full in the Crown Club area they had 2 of the drive lanes full. I saw more Tiffin Bus, Phaeton and Zepher coaches than ever, also a good representation of Entegra, American Coach of every description and Winnebago Tour and Ellipse. There were also a large number of coaches with sold signs each day and the transfer lots were essentially full for the 2 weeks we were there. Each morning I would take my walk and go by the "incoming lane" and there would be more coaches that had just arrived. Wife and I took the driving class while there and one of our instructors stated that LD had sold over 120 units the last saturday!
We are currently in Naples with a balmy 82 deg today. We are in Neopoliton RV resort and it is full and will be for the 2 weeks we are here.
I am very encouraged to see the obvious increase in traffic in the RV industry. Maybe we have rounded the bend with our economy, lets hope!!