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Flamborough Campgrounds Witness Surge Amid Provincial Decline in Occupancy Rates

Amid a province-wide slump in camping occupancy, the campgrounds in Flamborough (Ontario, Canada) are setting a new trend, boasting healthy occupancy rates and thriving overnight sites. 

While the rest of Ontario is witnessing lower-than-usual camping numbers in 2023, post the pandemic boom, Flamborough’s campgrounds, including Pine Valley Park and Valens Lake Conservation Area, are experiencing an upswing in bookings.

Alexandra Anderson, the executive director of Camping in Ontario, a representative body for over 350 private campgrounds in the province, observed an underwhelming 63% occupancy rate over the May long weekend. The decline, she suggests, is attributed to a combination of adverse weather, smoke from forest fires, burn bans, and the soaring cost of living and fuel prices.

This general drop in occupancy rates province-wide raises concerns for private campground owners and RV park operators. 

Despite the overall declining trend, Flamborough paints a different picture. 

Pine Valley Park’s owner, John Moelker, revealed that the park was fully booked for long weekends through Labor Day, and weekdays are steadily filling up. 

The park has also seen an influx of both local and returning European campers. Although there is a slowdown in the typically strong seasonal camping and a drop in high-priced trailer sales, the success of overnight sites brings a silver lining for private campground owners.

“I think it looks like a very promising year,” he said. “The demand is down a touch, the trailer sales are down quite a bit, but the overnight sites seem to be thriving.”

On a similar note, Valens Lake Conservation Area is experiencing an impressive 120% increase in overnight camping this year compared to 2019. 

According to Gord Costie, the director of Conservation Areas Services at Hamilton Conservation Authority, the numbers are “neck and neck” with the record-breaking figures from 2022.

Costie identifies the pandemic’s lasting impact as a catalyst for this renewed interest in local camping. 

He speculates that people have reconnected with nature and are exploring cost-effective vacation options close to home due to rising inflation and gas prices. Furthermore, the newly opened Drumlin Cabins at Valens Lake have turned out to be a crowd favorite.

The contrast between the province-wide camping trends and those in Flamborough suggests potential opportunities for private campground operators and the broader camping industry. 

As Ontario campers seek more local, affordable, and nature-oriented vacations amidst economic challenges, campground owners might benefit from focusing on developing and promoting their overnight camping facilities, seasonal offerings, and unique attractions like the Drumlin Cabins at Valens Lake.

Camping in Ontario’s executive director underscores the significance of weather for the camping sector, which largely depends on outdoor activities. 

A turn to favorable weather conditions could boost summer camping rates across the province, suggesting that campground owners should be prepared to seize these opportunities.

Despite the rise in living costs, Anderson remains optimistic. Camping has traditionally been seen as an affordable vacation option, and this perception could resonate with many people seeking budget-friendly getaway options. 

As such, the camping industry in Ontario, particularly private campground owners and RV park operators, might see an upturn, even amidst wider economic pressures.

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Jessica Phillips
Jessica Phillips
March 18, 2024 2:46 am

Dreaming of escaping the city chaos? Flamborough’s lively campgrounds await nature enthusiasts. Pine Valley Park and Valens Lake offer a peaceful haven for a memorable camping adventure. Ideal for outdoor lovers!

Brooke Valley
Brooke Valley
May 1, 2024 3:09 am

You know what’s cool? Flamborough’s campgrounds are buzzing with activities like hiking and kayaking, making camping a real adventure! Pine Valley Park and Valens Lake Conservation Area offer stunning nature views and relaxing vibes for all nature lovers.

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Hi, you might find this article from Modern Campground interesting: Flamborough Campgrounds Witness Surge Amid Provincial Decline in Occupancy Rates! This is the link: https://moderncampground.com/canada/ontario/flamborough-campgrounds-witness-surge-amid-provincial-decline-in-occupancy-rates/