HUNTINGDON COUNTY, Pa (WTAJ)– Raystown Lake is expected to have a typical season despite the economic status and high gas prices.
Executive Director of the Huntingdon County Visitor Bureau Mike Price said that they expect to have more travelers than levels pre-pandemic. He noted that when the economy has been bad in past years, the vacation spot remains popular.
Price also catered their high attendance to their location being convenient for major cities . He said markets such as Pittsburgh, New York, Baltimore, and Philadelphia are more much easier to drive from since they are within a five to six hour travel time.
“We got the convenience of location for those major markets, and because of that, we get a lot more visitors to the area when the economy is down, and gas prices go up,” Price said.
Price said that they expect between 1.5 to 1.8 million travelers this season. However, the high gas prices might mean a different behavior on the water and campsite. Park Ranger Allen Gwinn said that boaters might not be doing as many water activities in order to save a trip to the pump.
“In other years, they tend to go up and down the lake more and maybe ski more, pull tubers, and with the high gas prices, they may just sit and swim and be in one location,” Gwinn said.
Boats typically use either regular or diesel fuel to fill their tank. According to AAA, the state’s average gas prices per gallon go for $4.35 regular and $5.37 diesel. Price said folks might be more inclined to stay within their campsite so they don’t burn as much fuel.
“People may just come and hang out in their vacation rental house or campsite, wherever they’re staying,” Price said. “And spend that time together as opposed to going out and spending money.”
Gwinn said that behavior among those using cars might also look a little different. He said more people might walk on a trail to get to places on the site instead of driving around.
“Instead of driving from the campground to the theater or the visitor center, or they may enjoy the walking path or trails and get outside more instead of driving,” Gwinn said.
Raystown Lake is expected to open its federal campgrounds on April 1st. They will then continue to open more campgrounds throughout that month.