More People Camping Over Memorial Day Weekend
Lawmakers Considering Park Cuts to Close Budget Gap
Saturday, May 23, 2009
California More Californians are opting to pitch a tent this Memorial Day. State park officials say camping reservations are up for the weekend. The news comes as lawmakers and the Governor consider park cuts to help close a budget gap.
Roy Stearns with the Department of Parks and Recreation says reservations were up for the holiday weekend – with park campgrounds nearly full. He says in the past people stayed a couple of nights, but now they seem to be staying for all three.
“We just suspect that people are maybe forgoing a more expensive vacation somewhere, staying closer to home and maybe staying longer at a campground,” says Stearns.
The uptick comes as lawmakers and the Governor consider cutting park funds and increasing fees to help balance the budget. Stearns says parks have already tightened their belts:
“People might find that campgrounds aren’t as perfect as they used to be, that maybe bathrooms aren’t getting cleaned quite as often – that maybe there’s a little bit of trash piling up that doesn’t get hauled away real quickly because we’re short people.” Stearns says volume at state parks is expected to be up all summer.