RV park industry anticipates 53,000 new campsites in 2021

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The 2020 Industry Trends and Insights Report, released Tuesday, Dec. 9, by the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds, includes data that shows that the COVID-19 pandemic affected parks (some more than others) in a variety of ways in 2020, including impacting shoulder seasons and causing a wide swing in occupancy rates and profits. Still, despite the challenges 2020 provided, the numbers show the industry was resilient and is poised for continued growth into 2021.

The study anticipates more than 53,000 new sites constructed in the next 12 months.

ARVC’s survey sampled 516 outdoor hospitality owners and operators from across the country on expansion trends and plans, along with campground profiles, COVID-19 pandemic effects, guest demographics, amenities, sites and accommodations and rates.

The overall effects of the COVID-19 pandemic were wide-ranging, with 40% of respondents reporting increased main season occupancy in 2020 compared to the previous year, down from 49% who reported occupancy growth in 2019. 29% of this year’s respondents indicated their park suffered lower occupancy levels in 2020, a large jump from just 8% reporting decreased occupancy in the 2019.

Among those whose main season occupancy increased in 2020, 70% attribute the change to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Among those whose occupancy decreased, 99% also attributed the decrease to the effects of the pandemic.

“Our industry showed tremendous resiliency dealing with this pandemic, but it wasn’t the same across the board,” said ARVC President and CEO Paul Bambei. “Still, even for parks that suffered in 2020, there is plenty of hope for a huge bounce back year in 2021, proven by 38% of parks that anticipate increased profits in 2020 despite the challenges encountered this year.

“The outdoor hospitality industry has been experiencing rapid growth for the past decade, while the COVID-19 pandemic caused a minor dip, the number of people interested in camping rapidly expanded as a result. Campground owners need to be prepared to expand and improve their parks to keep up with this increased demand – and they need to know the data so that their parks are prepared to accommodate a new brand of camper.”

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Douglas Powell
1 month ago

So HE is saying that over 400 new parks will open in the next year he has no idea of what it takes to build a park. The AVERAGE cost to build a 125 space park nice not extravagant is well over 3 million. In addition it takes a boatload of permits and a location that works. Whatever he is smoking is probably a better sale than his hot air. Funny, how if you write something and get it into print you are deamed to have insight, intelligence and credibility. FAKE NEWS

Herb Dula
1 month ago
Reply to  Douglas Powell

I don’t think the numbers are off. I know of 2 parks adding sites 1 Asheboro NC Jellystone Yogi Bear, 1 Myrtle Beach SC 180 plus sites and New park in Pigeon Forge TN, Margaritaville RV Resort 120 sites. I believe this will happen during 2021.

Michael
4 months ago

Half a million RVs will be manufactured in 2021 and they add 53,000 new spaces?

Frank
4 months ago

I agree, what are they smoking and where do these numbers really come from, fake news again.

DAVE TELENKO
4 months ago

WOW really you say 53,000 new camp sites are anticipated! Thats so hard to believe just from reading recently that new parks were not happening. As far as adding more sites to existing camp grounds in 12 months. Thats only a dream in someones mind, its takes longer than that just to get permits to even up grade an electrical system. Wonder if  National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds would like to tell us exactly where they are going to be!!!! SHOW & TELL!!!

Gordy
4 months ago
Reply to  DAVE TELENKO

I have to agree that seems like an awful lot of spaces.
My guess is they mean they will start building them in 2021.

wanderer
4 months ago
Reply to  DAVE TELENKO

I share your suspicion, but, seems like they may be numbers coming from existing campgrounds just adding another block of sites, and from chains which have teams of staff who already have lots of new projects in the works. Lord knows from hearing the saga of our own mom-n-pop campground struggling to get permits, it’s not from individual small entrepreneurs.

Martin A
4 months ago
Reply to  DAVE TELENKO

That sure seems to be the impossible dream at over 1000 sites per state average.
Especially when some are turning rv sites into cabins and glamour sites.

Snayte
4 months ago
Reply to  Martin A

“turning rv sites into cabins and glamour sites.”

They are probably counting these as additional sites.