Study On Future Of State Park System Planned
FRANKFORT, Ky. – Tourism, Arts and Heritage Secretary Marcheta Sparrow has announced that a study of the Kentucky State Parks will be conducted to help plan for the future of the park system.
Once the study is complete, a task force appointed by Gov. Steve Beshear will be asked to develop a strategic plan for the park system.
Sparrow testified before the Interim Joint Committee on Economic Development and Tourism on June 26 about a recent audit of the park system carried out by Auditor Crit Luallen.
“We realize we have some challenges with our parks because of increased competition, higher costs and limited marketing,” Sparrow said. “This study and the task force will provide a road map for improvements for our parks, which are known across the country for their natural beauty, great programming and historic preservation.”
The 52 parks in the system include resort parks with lodges, cottages and restaurants; recreation parks with camping and boating opportunities and historic sites that interpret Kentucky’s history. The parks also operate nationally recognized golf courses across the state.
Sparrow, during her testimony on June 26, pointed out that work has begun on improving the parks’ marketing efforts with the recent hiring of marketing Director LaDonna Miller. There are also plans to create partnerships with federal parks to help promote state parks, add more discounts, market directly to park niche markets, improved web-based marketing that allows park guests the opportunity to share their experiences at Kentucky State Parks.
Other plans and efforts underway include a review of park restaurant menus, educating children about the state parks, and increasing efforts to seek group business.