Campground attendance at New York state parks continued to climb this year, outpacing the state’s previous record following devastating flooding along Lake Ontario earlier this year, according to The Tribune.
The 8,555 public campsites across the state were visited a combined 680,533 times as of Columbus Day, the state announced last week. The previous record of 663,953 was set last year.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the increased attendance is a direct result of the state’s efforts to promote its public parks in recent years and will help drive economic activity, particularly in parts of the state affected by recent flooding.
Cuomo announced Aug. 1 steep discounts at 30 parks, campgrounds and boat launches along the shores of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River in the hopes of providing the region an economic spark.
“This incredible surge illustrates how our efforts to promote and revitalize our campgrounds are working, drawing visitors and increasing tourism to the flood-affected areas of Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence,” Cuomo said in a statement.
A closer look
The discounts resulted in 10,263 reservations and brought 36,000 visitors to the region, the state said.
But it wasn’t just the Great Lakes region that saw a spike in campers this year.
A total of 213,153 overnight reservations were made at the state’s 68 campgrounds this year, surpassing the previous record of 212,358 set in 2016.
Overnight attendance has risen 26% since 2011, while the number of reservations has increased by 21% during that same period.
The North County had the most overnight stays in the state at 151,833, according to data.
There were a total of 127,775 overnight stays in the Finger Lakes and 121,393 in Western New York.
The Southern Tier saw 75,988, while the Mid-Hudson Valley had the least at 23,394.