LISBON – Check with any hotel, motel or campground throughout the area, and the one thing found in common is the presence of the shale industry.
With employment growth among the Marcellus and Utica shales, workers have counted on hotels to unwind after a hard day at work, and the hotels have looked forward to them as well.
“They get up early, go to work at 5 or 6 in the morning and come home,” said Mike Perline, manager of the Salem/Lisbon KOA Kampground. “You couldn’t ask for better guests than that.”
Since the boom hit two years ago, hotels and motels throughout the area have experienced a steady stream of tenants and guests year-round.
“We have quite a few workers coming and going throughout the year,” said Aaron Stevens, owner of the Travelers Motel. “They stay for two weeks, and then they’re off for two weeks, and as soon as they leave, we have another group of people staying for two weeks. It’s just been consistently busy for us.”
The Salem/Lisbon KOA on Winona Road in Salem has seen its share of success during the boom. Since last year, the campground opened for winter accommodations, and those in the shale industry seized the opportunity.
“This is the second winter we’ve been open, and the second straight year we’re at full capacity,” Perline said. “We started with 20 spaces last winter, then we added three more, and kept adding.”