The coronavirus pandemic halted much of the travel industry in late March, an industry that helps fuel Durango, Colo.’s economy. Flights were grounded, hotel rooms were left vacant, and people were told to stay home.
Not even RV parks were spared.
Westerly RV Park north of Durango was totally booked in March, but when the pandemic swept across the nation, it lost most of its business.
“That was devastating,” said Eugenie Schlittgen, co-owner of the park.
But as a better understanding of the virus came into focus, people itching to leave the house after months of isolation realized traveling in a recreational vehicle could be a “great solution to having a vacation during the pandemic,” Schlittgen said.
Click here to see the whole story from Emily Hayes in the Durango Herald.
Health officials have said flying with strangers is a greater threat than driving with members of your own household. Hotels are also seen as potential spreaders of COVID-19. As a result, the pandemic has prompted millions of Americans to plan RV vacations this year, according to the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association.
As of this month, Schlittgen was turning people away because her park off U.S. Highway 550, near Hermosa, was completely full. About 10–15 percent of those reserving spaces are not normally RV travelers, said Schlittgen’s husband and co-owner of the park, Geof Schlittgen.