State Parks Equal Last Year’s Holiday Weekend Occupancy Rate
FRANKFORT, Ky. – Kentucky State Resort Parks got off to a good start with the 2008 travel season, equaling last year’s occupancy rate for the Memorial Day weekend.
The 17 resort parks had an occupancy rate of 88 percent for the three nights of the holiday weekend. Last year’s rate was 88.1 percent.
On a related front, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reported that visitation to Lake Cumberland increased by 8 percent from last Memorial Day weekend, based on traffic counters around the lake. The lake saw a drop off in tourists last year due to a lowered lake level while repairs are made on Wolf Creek Dam. Area campgrounds were also full, the corps reported.
“By vacationing close to home, Kentuckians can take advantage of the beauty and adventure the Bluegrass State has to offer,” said Governor Beshear. “Boating, hiking, golfing and horseback riding are just a few of the activities folks are enjoying within our state borders.”
State park campgrounds were also full for the weekend and Fish and Wildlife officers reported boat traffic similar to last year’s holiday weekend. Many boaters were not running their motors as much due to high fuel prices. An informal survey by the Department of Tourism of tourist attractions showed that more than 80 percent had average or high visitation for the weekend; 72 percent said spending was the same as last year or was up from last year.
“In light of the news and concerns about gasoline prices and travel, I’m encouraged about the start of the tourist season,” said Commerce Secretary Marcheta Sparrow.
The Kentucky Department of Tourism is publicizing Kentucky tourist destinations through its “Discover Your Own Backyard” campaign – urging Kentuckians to consider traveling shorter distances to visit their home state. A web site – www.mykentuckybackyard.com – offers information about places to visit and registration for a daily prize throughout the summer. Prizes are from tourist destinations across Kentucky.
For information about state parks and to make overnight reservations at a resort park or campground, visit www.parks.ky.gov or call 1-800-255-PARK.
The Kentucky State Park System is composed of 53 state parks plus an interstate park shared with Virginia. The Department of Parks, an agency of the Commerce Cabinet, operates 17 resort parks with lodges -- more than any other state. Each year, Kentucky parks draw 7 million visitors and contribute $317 million to the economy. For more information on Kentucky parks, visit our Web site at http://www.parks.ky.gov