Some Georgia State Parks could get new campsites, cabins and cottages — good news for anybody who has waited for a spot during peak season in spring, summer, fall or on any holiday.
The Department of Natural Resources hopes to float $5 million in bonds for the building projects, and Gov. Sonny Perdue supports the project. As the story, “Lawmakers could put $5 million into campsites, cabins for state parks,” by AJCer Nancy Badertscher explains:
The idea is to make the parks more self-sustaining, says Becky Kelley, the DNR’s director of parks, recreation and historic sites. The system brings in 69 cents for every dollar it spends …
The strategy of investing in more cabins and campsites for the state parks is based on history, she said.
State parks make the most money “when people spend the night with us,” Kelley said.
It explains that the Richard B. Russell State Park turned a profit of $63,000 in 2008 and has had up to an 11-month waiting list for its 28 campsites and 17 cottages. With more campsites, Badertscher wrote, the DNR forecasts the park could boost revenues by $200,000 a year.
Nice work on finding a way to make some money, but…11 month waiting list?! Really? That’s the number I get hung up on.
I’ve never stayed overnight in a Georgia State Park, but every time a story has taken me to one of their campgrounds, they’re packed. I shouldn’t be surprised by the popularity: the parks are an incredible resource for fun things to do, even if you’re not staying overnight. Just check out their events listings.
This seems like a nice solution to cutting back those recreational, educational and community-building resources again and again, but as the AJC story points out, it sounds odd when there are so many cuts looming over state government.
Here’s the breakdown on which parks could be adding more places to stay:
Cloudland Canyon State Park, Rising Fawn: 25 campsites, $1 million.
Tugaloo State Park, Lavonia: 20 campsites, $650,000.
Fort McAllister Historic Park, Richmond Hill: six cottages, $1.2 million.
Richard B. Russell State Park, Elberton: 50 campsites, $2 million.
Skidaway Island State Park, Savannah: three to five camping cabins, $90,000.
Have you stayed at a Georgia State Park camp site or cabin and was it a good experience? Do the parks need more overnight facilities, or would you like to see other changes in the parks first?
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