While occupancies vary at campgrounds and RV parks across Florida, some park operators say they will be busier than normal this Memorial Day weekend because of COVID-19. Some parks are also sold out for the holiday weekend.
“People want to get outside and enjoy the sunshine and physical activity, even if it’s just going to a place that’s close to home,” said Bobby Cornwell, executive director and CEO of the Florida Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds, which hosts CampFlorida.com, the travel planning website.
Guests at Caladesi RV Park in Palm Harbor will be able to join a number of activities, including swimming and bicycling. “We are a little busier than last year and are preparing for a busy Memorial Day weekend,” said Christos Kappas, who manages Caladesi RV Park, adding, “We can accommodate tent campers and our pool is open.”
Breezy Acres RV Park in Chiefland is running about 70 percent full over Memorial Day weekend and the park has space for tent campers. “So far, we’re ahead of last year and already starting to book for this fall for the winter months,” said park manager Don Etnier. “Typically, the summer months are slow but we’ve had a few Snowbirds that have decided to stay the summer rather than head North. Also, we’ve had the best February, March and April ever at the park.”
Nature’s Resort in Homosassa is sold out for Memorial Day weekend. “I have 135 campers coming in on Friday,” said park operator Michael Shoemaker.
Camp Gulf in Destin is sold out as well, not only for Memorial Day weekend, but for nearly all of June, according to park co-owner Pat O’Neill. “The phone is ringing off the hook. It’s insane,” he said.
Flamingo Lake RV Resort in Jacksonville is also sold out for Memorial Day weekend. “We have 119 checking in between today and tomorrow. All sites are taken for the weekend and into next week,” said park operator Ken Lloyd.
Ocean Grove RV Resort in St. Augustine is also very busy this weekend. “We have 100 check-ins between today and Monday,” said park operator Devin Schneider.
Traci and Ken Usina, who co-own North Beach Camp Resort in St. Augustine Beach, said they are also sold out for this weekend.
Despite the strong demand, several RV resorts across Florida are offering discounts.
Breezy Acres offers a 10 percent discount for Good Sam Club members and veterans.
Several other Florida RV parks are also offering specials over Memorial Day weekend, including The Outpost RV Resort Park and Community in Winter Haven, which is offering half off the third night for guests that spend two nights.
“We have sites on the water’s edge that can accommodate up to a 32-foot trailer, 5th wheel or motorhome,” said Jeff Osborn, a resident manager, adding, “We are maybe 70 to 75 percent full.” Guests at the park also have access to three long fishing and viewing docks, three fire pits, kayaks and canoes and a community center.
Cornwell said RV parks are making every effort to comply with state and federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines to keep their guests safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many parks have COVID-19-related information posted on their websites, but it’s always a good idea for guests to call ahead if they have any questions about the activities or amenities that will be available during their stay, he said.
Sun RV Resorts, which has multiple RV resorts across Florida, is one case in point.
“Sun RV Resorts has a stringent plan in place for all of our resorts and is practicing all Covid-19 guidelines to assure the safety of our guests,” said Lori Rumer, a division vice president for Sun Communities, adding, “We are seeing a resurgence of reservations on par with last year. However, we are seeing more “stay-cation” guests than in past years. RV vacations and camping allows travelers to be self-contained and practice social distancing, while enjoying the great outdoors.”
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About the Florida Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds
Based in Tallahassee, the Florida Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds is the trade association for Florida’s privately owned RV parks and campgrounds. The association markets privately owned and operated parks through CampFlorida.com, the travel planning website. The association also publishes a free printed camping guide, which can be ordered through CampFlorida.com.