Summer vacation travel down
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JimK - DCSki Columnist
July 14, 2008
Member since 01/14/2004 🔗
2,727 posts


I've made a couple visits to the shore in recent weeks; first to Ocean City, MD, then the Outer Banks of NC. Traffic and business at both places seemed to be down about one third. Purely anecdotal observation on my part, but I think the economy is having a real dampening effect on vacation travel. Even Interstate 95 was not too bad returning to the DC area last night from NC.
It should be interesting this winter for determined ski vacationers. If it's something you've put off in the past due to cost or crowds, this might be the year to hit your favorite resort for Christmas or President's week.
JRXavier
July 14, 2008
Member since 07/14/2008 🔗
11 posts
Interesting that you are noticing less traffic at the beach. I noticed a little increase of traffic to WV mountains. I thought maybe more folks were avoiding rising airline prices to stay closer to home.
comprex
July 14, 2008
Member since 04/11/2003 🔗
1,326 posts
I was in OC over the weekend of the fourth, and not only did business at both places seem way down (driving out on the 3rd I encountered -no- traffic before 12 am) but the peaks seemed delayed.

Almost like folks are putting in longer hours at work or sumpin'.
JRXavier
July 14, 2008
Member since 07/14/2008 🔗
11 posts
Good to know. We're headed to the beach next week. Might be able to enjoy the beach without all the crowds.

Hope we don't all end up over worked and pent up.
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oldensign - DCSki Columnist
July 14, 2008
Member since 02/27/2007 🔗
437 posts
People are cutting back but it is all relative.

The folks that would of flow to vacation far away this year, might have flown closer.
Those who fly closer might drive instead.
Those who drive might vacation closer to home.

It is all relative....however bottom line is folks are cutting back. And just think how much cutting back there will be at $5 gas!
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
July 14, 2008
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
I wish that Amtrak adopted a pet travel policy akin to that used in European rail. I would do my trek to Stowe from DC by train, but as is, I will do it by car instead with my trusty Black Lab. Since I consider Thunder a semi-human, I consider that we'll be carpooling.
JRXavier
July 14, 2008
Member since 07/14/2008 🔗
11 posts
Def agree with a pet car on Amtrak. Missed business opp for Amtrak! Would be such a great way to travel with the dogs and avoid the drive and the $5 gas bill. Oh, and cocktails along the way would be great, too.
David
July 14, 2008
Member since 06/28/2004 🔗
2,444 posts
 Originally Posted By: lbotta
Since I consider Thunder a semi-human, I consider that we'll be carpooling.


Does he contribute to the gas fund or even take a turn or two driving?
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
July 14, 2008
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
Heck, he owns a condo and is in my will...
JRXavier
July 14, 2008
Member since 07/14/2008 🔗
11 posts
Got to love dogs and their lives! \:\) Sounds like YOU have your priorities straight. If you could give me some pointers on how to get mine to share the wheel, that'd be great.
comprex
July 14, 2008
Member since 04/11/2003 🔗
1,326 posts
I got a better one for ya:

Auto Vermonter.
Murphy
July 14, 2008
Member since 09/13/2004 🔗
618 posts
We had our family vacation the week before the 4th at Lake Fontana south of the Smokies. According to the locals, business was way down there. Then on the 4th, we were at Smith Mt. Lake. It was the busiest I've seen it in years. SML is the more accessible of the two but other than that, I'm not sure what conclusion to draw.
Roger Z
July 14, 2008
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Can't speak much of vacation out here except for a couple conflicting signals:

1) I still see a decent number of motorboats headed for the lakes on Friday afternoon;

2) the number of trucks and SUVs on the highways during the rush hour is down noticeably.

(I guess a corrolary is that there are scooters everywhere right now)

Oh and Sandra saw a news report in El Salvador that American-airline companies (not American Airlines, but all American airlines) have increased their fares, on average, 21 times this year, which comes out to almost once a week. That on top of the bag fees. Anyway, the story from the airlines is grim. Travel demand is down on them (of course, some of that isn't fuel related!) as well.

Over the Fourth, the local radio stations were talking about "stay"cations this year. That about sums it up. I saved my money on gas and bought beer instead!

Also, I'm rethinking my two Rockies trips this winter. May only take one to Park City, add a day onto the trip, then save the extra vacation day and $$$ for a hike next summer in Rocky Mountain National Park or somewhere in the vicinity. We'll see.
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
July 14, 2008
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
The jury is still out on the staycation industry, I'll see when I get my agent's bookings for my condo this winter. But all indications point out that for the MidAtlantic skiers, families are staying close. I think this will be a good year for 'Shoe, Seven Springs, Hidden Valley and the entire state of Vermont. I'm eschewing my Whistler vacation for Stowe this year.

Let's see... family of five, each with two pieces of luggage... That's $300 in baggage fees alone for the round trip. And obscene treatment in the plane to begin with.
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
July 14, 2008
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
 Originally Posted By: JRXavier
Got to love dogs and their lives! \:\) Sounds like YOU have your priorities straight. If you could give me some pointers on how to get mine to share the wheel, that'd be great.



Thunder is 12 this September. He's the reason why I bought my ski condo. He's the reason why I am on two condo boards - I don't want to see restrictions on pets, other than safety or health related. But he travels with me anywhere I go, and he's seen more disaster operations than most seasoned emergency managers.
Roger Z
July 14, 2008
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
 Quote:
But all indications point out that for the MidAtlantic skiers, families are staying close.


...assuming a decent winter, yes, you're probably right. Snow Creek is going to get a few more visits from me this year than it did last year!
GDWindowpane
July 15, 2008
Member since 07/9/2008 🔗
43 posts
I know fuel costs are crazy but I've been checking airfare out to Denver and I'm not seeing it... $273 round trip from Dulles to Denver, April 11, returning April 18th. AA can't be making money at the cost... Same trip leaving December 27th and returning January 3rd, $442. Gotta love the holidays...
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
July 15, 2008
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
This early booking can save you money big time, though with many restrictions. The computers price the tickets based on historic availability. If the preponderance of the evidence is that there are, for example, three or four unsold seats on that flight, the computer will sell them cheap way in advance in order to create less availability. Besides avoiding the loss of empty seats, they get to jack up the price of the available seats. The closer you get to the departure date, the more these seats will generally cost. That's why you see the difference between a cheap April 09 seat and the same seat in January.
JRXavier
July 15, 2008
Member since 07/14/2008 🔗
11 posts
Thunder sounds like a great dog. We travel with our dogs quite a bit and have found so many hotels that allow dogs. It has made it much easier and fun for us and the dogs. It appears that hotels and other rentals recognize the importance of families bringing pets. There has also been growth in designated city dog parks, which make it fun when we travel too.

Kudos for your impact on condo boards to keep people focused on the real issue regarding pets - safety - and not allowing for an absolute exclusion of pets.
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
July 15, 2008
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
JR - thanks. I travel with my dog, as I said, and some of the best hotels in the country have had to reform their ways. Marriott, for example, admits pets into virtually all their Residence Inn facilities, and Homewood Suites, owned by Hilton, has changed their policies too. In most urban centers, the entire Kimpton chain, owner of both large and small boutique hotels such as the Palomar in Dupont, allows pets. When I get to Stowe, the Commodore Inn is my destination of choice for that reason.

I put my money where my mouth is. If a locale doesn't tailor to my tastes, they don't get my money.

I have found as a condo board member, that there are many things that affect our pets, not only in the ski or leisure world. For example, cocoa tree laden mulch has made its appearance in many places. It is cheap, repels bugs, and is quite attractive. But it is highly poisonous to pets especially dogs, and can kill an animal with exposure and ingestion in one sitting. It destroys their liver. That mulch will not be seen in my condo...
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