MARSHALL COUNTY, Ky. -
This summer, families are expected to go full-throttle in planning affordable vacations. Gas prices are expected to be their lowest in 10 years, and business owner Mike Layton is already laying down the welcome mat.
"With the gas getting cheaper, we are seeing the folks a lot earlier than normal. More of them," he said.
He and his wife have owned Aurora Oaks Campground since 2008. Their first year wasn't smooth sailing. "It was very brutal. Between our inexperience and, of course, the economic collapse, nobody wanted to do anything," Layton told Local 6.
Jim Sweeney and his wife are campground regulars. They've made the trip from Buffalo, New York, for more than 20 years, but higher gas prices kept others away. "We do have some overnight people here, and I saw a definite decline," Sweeney said. "They weren't coming in. In other words, they weren't driving these big motor homes around too much."
Randy Newcomb is the Executive Director of the Kentucky Lake Convention and Visitor's Bureau. He said cheaper gas could mean families planning several summer vacations. "It just gives them that extra motivation to get out and go explore. Whether it's for a week or a three day little trip," he said.
Layton hopes that holds true because he said the more people who visit the area translates into more money being spent here, too. "It's very impactful, the duration of time they spend here," he said.