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Camping businesses well grounded

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Taking a family vacation is tough to afford in this economy. It seems many families are still vacationing, but their finding a cheaper way to do it, in the great outdoors.

Memorial Day weekend kicked off the season.

“We were so full, people kept coming in, asking for sites and we were pretty much putting them wherever we could find a spot,” said Danielle Akey of Wilmington KOA.

At the Wilmington KOA, you’d never know there’s a recession.

Danielle Akey says her sales are up ten percent from this time last year. She did lower her prices a bit, but more campers are making up for it.

“We’re enjoying our time here very much and look forward to a time when we can get back out on the road and enjoy our beautiful country again, there’s a lot to see out there,” said camper Michelle Dilks.

Akey says the KOA is seeing a lot of people new to camping, because it’s so affordable.

Travis Creech at Rex and Sons RV’s agrees. He said camper sales and rentals are up 25 percent from last year.

“They’re wanting to find a more economical way to take their family and go create memories that last a lifetime,” Creech said.

On average, a family can rent a travel trailer for about $285 for a four-day weekend. Hooking up the camper at your average campground costs about $50 a night, so you’re looking at less than $500 for a family to go camping for a long weekend. Compare that to a nice hotel… the Hilton in downtown Wilmington costs about $600 for three nights.

Akey said the KOA is seeing more North Carolina license plates in the campground than they’re used to.

Wayne Roberts is visiting from Apex. He’s been camping for nearly a decade and says there’s nothing like it. “Get up when you want to, go where you want to go when you want to go, and just take it easy.”

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Taking a family vacation is tough to afford in this economy. It seems many families are still vacationing, but their finding a cheaper way to do it, in the great outdoors.

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Associated poll

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