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Campground owners ready to welcome another busy season

Following a record breaking 2 summers in a row
Campground owners aren't too concerned about the summer months a head.
Published: May. 18, 2022 at 5:18 PM MDT
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CUSTER, S.D. (KEVN) - Campers are ready to take to the Black Hills for another beautiful summer and campground owners are optimistic for another successful season.

“Oh yeah, we’re always optimistic.”

“You know, it may start off slow but we always finish with a bang,” said Tom and Shelah, owners of the Roost Resort near Custer.

They said they’re excited to follow two record breaking summers in row, but think this year might look a little different.

“We’ll do well, but I don’t think it’s going to be like the last two years.” said Tom.

The change is due to rising gas prices and inflation.

“I think we’re going to have a good year, but I do think that it’s affecting some of the more of the middle class, larger families to be able to go,” explained Shelah.

“Well, the diesel trucks that need to pull the big RV’s and the big motor homes and stuff, you know that’s going to take a hit in the pocket. There’s no question about that,” said Tom.

The two think they’ll see more campers opting to stay and cook in a cabin so they can travel lighter and eat out less.

“So, that helps with the food prices. Go to the grocery store, buy their food, prepare their food here, grill it outside, cook it in the kitchens.”

“People aren’t going to be eating out as much, but this is South Dakota and I don’t think the restaurants have anything to worry about. There’s already lines in town,” said Stephan Saint, owner of Fort Welikit Campground.

Saint said his cabins are also consistently reserved through the summer, but says the RV’s are still coming to the hills.

“So, you are getting some people who are canceling for gas prices, but they’re being replaced by people who just want out,” explained Saint.

Saint said he’s already booked June-July and is receiving phone calls for August and September.

“It’s going to be busy. It might be just a smidge slower, but we’ll be just as busy,” stated Saint.

“You can’t beat the Black Hills in the summertime,” said Shelah.

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