Camping industry still riding high since pandemic began

Posted at 5:32 AM, May 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-13 06:57:17-04

LEBANON, Ohio — The camping industry is still booming more than a year after many people used it to escape the pandemic, and that means it's hard for some to find a good campsite.

When the pandemic first hit, campers, RVs and travel trailers were hard to find, and sold out in some places. Now, spots to park those campers are a hot commodity.

RELATED: Camper sales and rentals soar due to COVID-19 fears

For Jenny Iovanisci and her husband John, camping was a safe way to get around once the pandemic hit. However, it's been hard for them to get out as much as they would like.

"We got three camping trips in last year and that was it because everybody was booked," Jenny Iovanisci said. "Campgrounds are booking up quicker than ever... We started back in January looking for campsites, and if you don't snag on to it, you don't get it."

The Great Parks of Hamilton County said their campgrounds in Winton Woods are booked solid on weekends, and the campgrounds at Miami Whitewater are almost sold out. Reservations have doubled in many places since 2020, and tripled since 2019.

Sarah Anglin, co-owner of Lebanon KOA, said her phone is always ringing now with people looking for open lots. She said camping used to be a way to get away from it all, but now that people are allowed to work from home, they are bringing their office to the great outdoors.

"The office, school, with the freedom of working at home, your office can be anywhere you want," Anglin said.

If you're looking for a camping spot, the best advice Anglin has is to be flexible.

"If you're looking to camp Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, you're probably going to get lucky," she said.