Monday, January 18, 2010

Iowa State parks camper days up in 2009

Iowa's state parks drew brisker business last year, and newly restored lakes proved to be a strong draw, according to newly released data.

The number of camper days rose to 714,592 in 2009, up 5.3 percent from flood-plagued 2008. Last year's attendance was 7.4 percent higher than the level five years earlier.

A camper day means one person staying one night. So a family of four staying one night counts as four camper days.

Including campground visits and other activities, 56 major state parks together drew an estimated 14 million visits last year, up 250,000 from 2008 and the highest total since 2006.

The success comes at a time when state park managers are debating closing lesser-used park areas because of state budget cuts. Further cuts could lead to closure of whole parks, Iowa Department of Natural Resources Director Richard Leopold has said.
Full Story...
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