Letter to the Editor: Is an RV Village a Good Investment for Door County?

Those who care about and govern Door County must study the economic future, including what drives the attitudes and purchase habits of younger generations. Current data do not indicate they will be purchasing 45-foot Class A motorhomes, which is what’s proposed for the project above the Old Quarry.

Let’s look at demographic trends of the largest demographic, millennials, who, at 88 million, affect our economy, politics, business and American way of life:

• Millennials spend their money on experiences, not tangible items.

• About 75 percent of them are altering their buying habits with the environment in mind, compared to 34 percent of baby boomers.

• Millennials are not as car crazy as boomers. Millennials drive sedans.

Digging into RV-industry trends, it’s clear that a Class A motorhome park is not a good investment here. An RV Industry Association study showed that although consumers between 55 and 75 like more traditional, large RVs, younger consumers favor smaller trailers. In 15 years, the youngest boomer will be 71 and on the dying end of the trend to purchase a 45-foot motorhome.

The future is in smaller RVs because of maneuverability and the environment. Millennials want electric-powered campers that emit zero emissions, and almost half of U.S. shoppers say they will change their consumption habits to benefit the environment. 

Attitudes don’t fully support buying behavior and minds can change, but the data support a future of purchase decisions based on what’s good for the Earth and its people. Future generations will not be buying Class A motorhomes. 

Door County’s brand identity focuses on maritime history, nature, cherry orchards, fish boils and festivals: experiences that will attract future generations interested in ecotourism. Investing in building on this brand makes economic sense. Allocating resources to support roads and services for 40,000-pound vehicles that get eight to 13 mpg in a dying market segment makes no sense at all.

Join me at the Resource Plan Committee meeting on Feb. 20, 3 pm, at the ADRC in Sturgeon Bay to voice your opinion. 

Jane Hillstrom

Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin