CHULA VISTA, Calif. (KGTV)-- Thousands of people from around the country are already in San Diego County to spend the holiday weekend. Tourism experts said this could be the start of a record-breaking travel season.
If you were able to reserve a stay in San Diego this weekend, you were one of the lucky ones.
"Most hotels along the coast will be at 100% sold out all weekend," hotel owner Bob Rauch said. "The weather is perfect, pent-up demand is awesome, and San Diego is a great location."
From hotels, motels, even campgrounds, reservations are through the roof.
"2019 was a great year for camping, and right now, we are almost 25% to 37% above 2019 levels," Kampgrounds of America San Diego owner Clint Bell said.
Bell said campgrounds were one of the first businesses to recover from the pandemic.
"Because it was an outdoor space, it was socially distanced by its very nature, and it was an opportunity to enjoy safe recreation outdoors," Bell explained.
Because of that, thousands of new families invested in RV's and camping equipment last year. For many of them, this holiday weekend is their first time using their new gear. But not for the Jaime family.
"We used to be by ourselves first, and then the kids came along," Frank Jaime said.
They have been coming to KOA San Diego for more than 35 Memorial Day Weekends. Last year was the only time they missed out.
"It was really depressing because we really look forward to being here," wife Frances said.
But this year, everyone is back to keep the tradition going.
"I have two sisters coming. They have their kids and their grandkids," Frances said.
The Jaime family, a party of fifty, is spread out all over the lot. But come together for meals.
"That's why they don't put us together because we're too noisy," Frank laughed.
Whether you are a seasoned camping family like the Jaimes or post-COVID newbies, Bell believes this summer kick-off weekend will be one to remember.
"We've been in the camping industry for 53 years, with a firm belief that campfires bring people together," Bell said.