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Snowbirding is a problem

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 Gene Savage
(@Gene Savage)
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My wife and I travel in a 5th wheel for work. We are from north Florida and finding a campground in south Florida can be a daunting task. Instead of being able to set up in one campground for the duration of our job, when get the call to go, we have to call several campgrounds and coordinate with them based on their vacancies. The reason? Canadians. Wasn't an issue last year as the Border was closed, but they come down in droves and stay for months at a time.once COVID slows, I see them coming back again.


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 Larry Lee
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Snowbirds creates a balance problem and has its pros and cons. One pro is all the money it brings to south Florida. If the campgrounds were not full for part of the year those campgrounds would likely go broke. Just like retailers depend on the Christmas sales to make a profit for the year, South Florida has come to depend on the sales/rentals to the "dreaded snowbirds". No doubt they create traffic problems, restaurant congestion, difficulty finding a place to stay in any kind of short time or emergency, but it doesn't help any to just despise them or get angry at them. We can be much more creative than that. I know some campers who are mobile workers who have invested in equipping their RV so as to be able to dry camp longer and have become friendly with campgrounds which allow them to dry camp with privileges to dump and refill water. They depend on solar for electricity with generator backup. They consider it the cost of running their business on a mobile basis. When difficulties come our way, creativity must come out to solve the problems. Plus it usually gives us a feeling of accomplishment and being more in control of our lives when we do. Best wishes for creative solutions.

Larry


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 Marcie Stolberg
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I own knife island campground in  esko Minnesota located on the st. Louis river. 20 miles south of Duluth. We never have a snowbird issue only one guest is a snowbird. We are also never full. We dont take reservations for one day or a weekend  since covid started minimum  stay is 1 month


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 Bill D
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Regarding Larry's comments...I live in Central Florida and can comfortably say that if there were no snowbirds the states campgrounds would still be full because FL residents (and those from nearby states) would be there to enjoy camping in the great FL state parks.  Due to the boom in RV sales, crowded campgrounds and difficulty in taking out my camper for a quick outing in prime FL weather (because snowbirds have reserved most sites for 4-6 months at a time) I'm regretfully selling my camper. 

No snowbird problem in MN?  Not too hard to figure that one out!

PS...I do agree creativity should be part of the solution...maybe give priority for state residents (at least for a portion of the sites) in their statescampgrounds.. 


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 Family Rv
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We are currently at our final destination and while it's beautiful here in the Florida Keys some of the RV park rules and Tennant's are not. No guest, no food or drink at pool, and every snowbird at the swimming pool looks at children with disdain for splashing our having fun with one even complaining to me about other kids (I have 3!). The staff and most the snow birds have been awesome at every stop including this place but it's just the nagging few snow birds (if you don't like kids the pool is the last place you should go) that can leave their indelible mark in your day or on site rules as these places do cater to their "meat and potatoes"... But as the boomer snow birds fade I believe camping and RV locations should take head in the younger families traveling. We like to spend money on our kids and aren't pinching our wallet, maybe the snowbirds should take notice as we contribute to the bottom line and help ensure your favorite resorts stay open.


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 Susan
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I’m age 70 and retired. I definitely feel for the younger generation whether it’s about camping, housing or life to come in general. We were free to pursue our goals which were attainable. I can see why the writer resents snowbirds. It would be a better world if seniors searched for ways to warmly welcome younger generations to share in what we have. 


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 Jim
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Posted by: @Gene Savage

My wife and I travel in a 5th wheel for work. We are from north Florida and finding a campground in south Florida can be a daunting task. Instead of being able to set up in one campground for the duration of our job, when get the call to go, we have to call several campgrounds and coordinate with them based on their vacancies. The reason? Canadians. Wasn't an issue last year as the Border was closed, but they come down in droves and stay for months at a time.once COVID slows, I see them coming back again.

 


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 Jim
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Snowbirds are a problem for the local Florida residents who would like to go and enjoy the  state and county parks that we pay taxes on. The Snowbirds come down and book up the camp ground then don’t show up.  We have ran into this several times.  We get a unscheduled family weekend and would like to go camping and the parks are full with empty spots in the park.  The Florida residents should have priority and be able to book places over non residents.

There should  be a Snowbird tax. They are welcome to visit. If they stay for a certain length of time pay taxes to keep up with the roadways and parks that they are using.  The parks are full, roadways over crowded more congestion at the hospitals and others areas. 


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 Momads2
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Definitely have that problem here in AZ, especially at campgrounds near water!  Snowbirds descend on these places in October & monopolize the best sites until May when it gets too hit.  Well, it gets too hot at these locations for Us Year Round Arizonans as well!  Since there is a Stay Time Limit of 2 weeks at most places we wonder how they manage to spend most of the winter at the most desirable spots almost continuously, while we can't even get a site for a 4 or 5 night trip!


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 Sheila
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Im from Michigan.  This process of snowbirding works in reverse here.  Cant get a spot at the beach, in a rental or at the State Park all summer in Michigan.  And I don't want to. So crowded with people!

In March/April I go down to Florida.  From Mid-Alabama to So Florida/Okeechobee, I stay a week to 10 days in various parks.  Have done so for 10 years. No I've never cancelled.  IF I had to not go, I'd let them know and cancel.  To me that's where penalties should be attached. If you no show, no cancellation double fines. 

Yes  Michigan is overcrowded as well.  But I never go to the beach when I'm there in Florida.  Just go to love the natural Florida experience, having no interest in amusement parks etc.

What I think would help both states with the problem is to simple have more parks.  Parks conserve habitat, encourage appreciation of nature, reduce over-crowding in busy areas and can be extreme stress relief for all.  Why isn't the state interested in this amazing opportunity to serve the public?  Future income is most certainly assured and would support more parks.  Keeping Florida and Michigan Naturally preserved is most necessary for keeping it valuable to us all. 

Clearly with all the camper sales, we are going to need more opportunities.  Might be a great opportunity for investment and/or more comprehensive park policies at the state level.  I've camped in everything from Pup tents/motorcycles (outlawed in Florida when I started) to Class B campervan I now use (outlawed in some parks now in Florida).  45 yrs of camping.  The rules change by the moment and make no more sense then than now.  Dogs, no dogs, alcohol no alcohol, tents, no tents, RVcampers no RVcampers, on pad parking only or anywhere, bikers must wear helmets, no 4 wheelers, orv path only.  Its nuts out there.  We could definitely do better by all of us.

 


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 Mr. Beavis
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In the Winter, Snowbirds go South and fill campgrounds. Summertime comes and Southern Birds come North and fill campgrounds. Good for all the campgrounds that are able to stay open because of these migrations of campers. I am one of the Birds now. I am 80 years old and started camping with my parents 74 years ago. Some travelers enjoy being in a building. I still enjoy being a camper today. 


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 Casey Balvert
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Hey, come to the Rio Grande Valley in south Texas.  The local economy welcomes Snowbirds with open arms.  Signs all over the place announcing, "Welcome back, Winter Texans".  Compared to Florida the prices are almost half of what they run in FL, and way less crowding too.  And the local population LOVES us.  Our tenth winter here and loving it.


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 Ed Hill
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I've been reading so much about the "snowbirds problem." I'd like to address the Floridians who complain about them, want to limit them, want to tax them, etc.

I'll take one recently built campground(name withheld) which has 389 sites. It was completed this past year. It is an extravagant campground and was costly to build. My research indicates a campground cost between $30,000 and $50,000 per site to build. Wide range due to wide range of amenities in the parks. Given those prices this campground would have been in the upper range therefore 389 sites would have cost $19,450,000 to build. That's money for Florida labor, materials, utilities etc all benefitting the state and its residents.

Now that campground is charging $2000/month rent and is 100% full. That's $778,000/month coming into Florida mostly from other states. That's $9,336,000/year roughly as there are some discounts for renting yearly. Most snowbirds rent yearly to hold their site for the next year. This doesn't include other charges such as an extra vehicle on site, etc.

389 sites would be roughly 1.8 persons per site. That's 700 people buying clothes, eating in restaurants,  buying excursions, buying groceries, and going to attractions.

This is just one campground! I think this shows that snowbirds pay their way. Florida is blessed with a perfect climate for growing many vegetable and fruit crops.  It has land available sufficient to raise large beef herds, has a long coastline to accommodate shipping and cruises. However, I would suggest that tourism is the most stable income and perhaps the most profitable. So the next time you are in a traffic jam remember how big this industry is and how much money it brings in.


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 Al Scudder
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Floridians should remember that they need to do is what a Snowbird does. CALL IN ADVANCE. ALWAYS GET A RESERVATION. That's what we do. You keep calling until you connect. Make sure that the resort or cg gives you what you need to be satisfied. When the Snowbirds gets a place that satisfies thier needs they stay there every year. Or move on down the road or don't come back. Remember when we are here we have a impact on  the local businesses in the area. I'm sure they like it. 


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 Al Scudder
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Don't you as a a resident of FL get a big discount on state cgs that you don't get from private cgs ...........I see your point  not hard to figure


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