Posted at: 09/02/2012 11:25 PM
By: by Dan Bazile
AVERILL PARK - Millions of people are on the road for the unofficial end of the summer season.
But with high gas prices and the tough economy, some capital region residents are choosing to stay closer to home this Labor Day weekend.
Playgrounds at campgrounds across the state filled up fast for Labor Day weekend, the final swing of the summer season.
Andrea and Paul Hughes have been coming here to the Alps Family Campground in Averill Park with their two girls for the past five years. “We love it here. It’s our home for the summer. This is home for us.”
It’s a quick drive from their home in Watervliet and that's the way they like it.
“Gas prices are inhibiting people to do a lot of things. The main thing is to try to stay local.”
Staying local can help avoid the pain of paying the national average for regular gas -- three dollars and eighty two cents a gallon. It’s higher in the capital region at at three dollars and ninety two cents a gallon -- that's up from three dollars and sixty six cents last month.
The Hughes’ say that and the tough economy are forcing many people to do without vacations and lavish Labor Day weekend trips.
“We used to go to Cape Cod once a year. We said we couldn't really afford it.”
So, yesterday he brought a Cape Cod style dinner to his campground with lobster and clams.
Alps Campground owner Ron Vanfleet says he has seen an increase in local campers since he took over the 26 acre camp 13 years ago. “Typically we're full on a holiday weekend, any holiday weekend.”
But that doesn't mean business is up. Vanfleet he's seen a decrease in tent campers which may be economically driven and he says when times are good, there's usually a parade of RV's on big holidays.
“Less people are coming from Connecticut say than we used to have. More people from the tri-city area.”
People like the Hughes family who say their labor day away from home feels extravagant without the hefty price tag.