Article Posted: October 04, 2004

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Economic impact of state park overnight visitors up 10 percent from 2001

COLUMBUS, OH -- Overnight visitors to Ohio State Park campgrounds, cottages
and resort lodges contributed $291,000,000 to the state's economy during
2003 - a 10 percent increase over the $265,000,000 spent in 2001, according
to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).
Approximately 3.3 million overnight visitors spent an average of $88 per day
on lodging, travel, food and other services in 2003. In addition, overnight
stays supported the equivalent of 8,900 full-time jobs across the state.
The department participated in an economic impact study sponsored by the
Ohio Division of Travel & Tourism that showed Ohio State Park visitors
generate revenues not only for the parks themselves, but also for local and
statewide businesses.
Most Ohio State Park visitors come for day-use recreational activities.
However, those staying one or more nights in a park facility generate a
significant financial impact both on and off park property. More than 90
percent of the $291,000,000 spent in 2003 went to local communities and
businesses that support the recreation and travel industries.
"Ohio State Park lodges, campgrounds and cottages contribute both jobs and
revenues to our economy," said Dan West, chief of Ohio State Parks. "Their
financial benefits spread not only to surrounding communities, but to the
state and nation as a whole."
According to the study, lodging, food, transportation, goods and services
purchased by overnight visitors generated $13.3 million in state taxes and
another $7.6 million in local taxes during 2003.
A 2002 Ohio Poll conducted by the University of Cincinnati showed 83
percent of adult Ohioans have visited an Ohio State Park for at least a day
to swim, boat, picnic, hike or attend a special event.
Ohio's 74 state parks offer 56 family campgrounds and more than 9,000
campsites; more than 500 overnight cottages; and nine full-service resort
lodges. Reservation information for campgrounds and cottages is available
online 24 hours a day at ohiostateparks.org. Phone reservations for both
cottages and campsites can be made between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. daily. Callers
should dial toll-free 1-866-OHIOPARKS (644-6727) to reserve cottages at Buck
Creek State Park in Clark County, Cowan Lake State Park in Clinton County,
Dillon State Park in Muskingum County, Hocking Hills State Park in Hocking
County, Lake Hope State Park in Vinton County, Mohican State Park in Ashland
County, Pike Lake State Park in Pike County and Pymatuning State Park in
Ashtabula County.
Phone reservations for both cottages and resort lodges at Shawnee State Park
in Scioto County, Burr Oak State Park in Morgan County, Hueston Woods State
Park in Preble County, Maumee Bay State Park in Lucas County, Salt Fork
State Park in Guernsey County and Punderson State Park in Geauga County, as
well as the lodge at Mohican State Park remain available through
Reservations for the cottages and resort lodge at Deer Creek State Park in
Pickaway County are available by calling 1-877-678-DEER. Reservations for
the new Lodge & Conference Center at Geneva State Park in Ashtabula County
are available at 1-800-801-9982.

Source: ODNR

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