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Iowa tourism hot spots see increase in local travel due to rising gas prices

Travelers across the Midwest are ditching their cross-country trips for nearby vacation destinations.

AMANA, Iowa — The nationwide average price for a gallon of gasoline has topped $5 for the first time ever, according to AAA

The average in Iowa isn't far behind at $4.74 a gallon. These record high gas costs are making an impact across the state, particularly at tourist destinations.

The Amana Colonies are just one tourism hot spot noticing the impact gas prices have on travel. In late May and early June, they hosted a Renaissance Festival. More than 12,000 visitors attended. 

"People are looking for that vacation experience but don't really want to travel as far because of the expense," Stacy Colledge, Executive Director of the Amana Colonies Convention & Visitor's Bureau, told KCRG. "I think they're going to be coming to our community more." 

Jamie Scott, manager of the Amana RV Park and Event Center, has also noticed a shift. This time last year, the park brought in 370 campers. Now, those numbers are a bit lower.  

"Gas prices this year have really taken a toll on us and those big trips that people are making are no longer and they're getting cancelled," Scott told KCRG. 

Although cross-country trips may be scrapped for the summer, Scott says the park is still seeing up to 150 RVs each weekend. 

"We've seen so many more Midwest campers," Scott said. 


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