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Archive for Monday, August 4, 2008

Fuel costs modify vacation plans

Ten-year-old Tanner Wendt, of Fox Lake, Ill., hides out in the family pop-up camper with a handheld computer game as his father, Greg, mother, Diane, and sister Taylor set up on the grounds outside at Lawrence Kampgrounds of America. According to KOA park manager Harold Hays, the campground is attracting more vacationers from communities closer to Lawrence such as Topeka and Kansas City because of the high cost of fuel.

Ten-year-old Tanner Wendt, of Fox Lake, Ill., hides out in the family pop-up camper with a handheld computer game as his father, Greg, mother, Diane, and sister Taylor set up on the grounds outside at Lawrence Kampgrounds of America. According to KOA park manager Harold Hays, the campground is attracting more vacationers from communities closer to Lawrence such as Topeka and Kansas City because of the high cost of fuel.

August 4, 2008

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Greg and Diane Wendt didn't let high gasoline prices keep them from taking their three children on their annual family summer vacation.

On Friday afternoon, the Fox Lake, Ill., couple parked their van and pop-up camper at the KOA Kampground, north of Lawrence.

"We decided to still do this," Greg Wendt said. "The (Chicago) White Sox are playing in Kansas City, and we thought we'd see a couple of games. We'll go on into St. Louis and see a couple of games there."

The Wendts' Ford van gets 8 to 10 miles per gallon of gasoline while pulling the camper on the highway, Greg Wendt said.

"We'll probably spend about a thousand dollars (on gas) by the time we get home after a couple of weeks," he said.

While they still took a vacation, the couple did cut back on how far they went. Last summer they drove to Washington, D.C., and Virginia, they said.

The Wendts represent the typical customers at KOA this year, campground manager Harold Hays said. Off-season marketing efforts were aimed at families who still want to take their recreational vehicles on trips but are sticking closer to home. Many are seeing sights locally and in the Kansas City and Topeka areas, he said.

"We saw this coming, but I don't think we thought it (gas) would go up to $4 a gallon," Hays said. "We revamped the campground to be more family-oriented. We have family-themed weekends. We have hay rides, ice cream socials, water balloon wars."

High gasoline prices haven't even stopped those with huge motor homes.

Marvin and Dora Polzien stopped at KOA for a couple of days while breaking in their new 40-foot motor home. The Ardmore, Okla., couple were on their way home after a trip to St. Paul, Minn. Their RV burns diesel from its 130-gallon tank and gets 8 miles per gallon, Marvin Polzien said.

"I just fill it up and don't even look at the price. It's aggravating," he said.

At the same time the Polziens, who own three motels in Oklahoma, admit they aren't as hurt by high gas prices as people in other states.

"We live in oil country," said Polzien, 79. "We're really not disappointed about the gas because my income is up because of it. But (gas) is too high."

Although Polzien has no owning interest in oil, he noted that people in the oil industry spend their money at his businesses.

Retiree David Newcomer and his wife, Gene Ann, also have a 40-foot motor home and enjoy taking it to Clinton Lake. The Prairie Village couple are glad that they don't have to travel far.

"It's a great getaway," he said. "We're just glad it's so close."

Comments

Richard Heckler 5 years, 8 months ago

July 18,2008New York TimesWASHINGTON - House Republicans on Thursday blocked a Democratic effort to pressure energy companies into drilling for oil on lands they already leased from the federal government.......

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le 5 years, 8 months ago

I am 1800 miles away from my daughter..due to the high cost of gas and the rising cost of flying...i was nt able 2 fly my kid out 2 visit(to younh to travel alone..so i couldnt afford 2 buy a extra ticket for my nephew to escort her)southwest airlines has oil ocked in at 50 bucks a barrell and they are makin bank right now cuz they are being competitive with the other airlines that are raising prices cuz they did not lock in oil prices! I am pissed...fukking Bush and his oil buddies can kiss the hairyest part of my anus hole!

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Windlass 5 years, 8 months ago

I really don't care about anything else right now other than maybe our s*** government can get around to regulating the maniacal monopoly known as Westar Energy...preferably before this out-of-control utility, I also like to refer to as Greed Central, kills us all.

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LogicMan 5 years, 8 months ago

"He's playing the Gameboy on their camping vacation!"It was Mad Magazine, comic books, pinball, and fireworks in my day. But most often after dark, or during bad weather.Hopefully this kid is also learning some basic skills and having outdoor fun while on this trip.

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KEITHMILES05 5 years, 8 months ago

On a sweltering day they have their camper door open. Crazy.

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wysiwyg69 5 years, 8 months ago

god, how sad to have to come to lawrence for vacation! Beaver, can you tell the class what you did for summer vacation? Yes miss Landers, I got to go to Lawrence Kansas and stay in the koa boy what a great place ..Poor children.

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ladykess 5 years, 8 months ago

hehe...you (informed) crack me up... :)

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Norma Jeane Baker 5 years, 8 months ago

Um, beemerbird, it's not like 'camping' at the KOA is exactly roughing it. Who cares if he's playing Gameboy? Reading the article, it seems like the family takes trips to see the ChiSox play. They choose to stay in their camper rather than a hotel or motel.I went camping (albeit, car camping) earlier this year and brought my iPod and a data card-equipped laptop. There was still plenty of room in the tent. That must make me truly evil.

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bmwjhawk 5 years, 8 months ago

He's playing the Gameboy on their camping vacation!

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