Oklahoma state park officials increased fees for campers, according to the News-Capital.
Kim Caplinger, a spokeswoman for the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department, said in an email the campsite base rates for RVs and tent campers increased by $2 to $16 per day at all state parks. Water and sewer hookups also increased by $1 each per day.
The new rates took effect Sept. 9
Caplinger said the fee modifications were designed to be revenue neutral. Officials also removed an $8 online booking fee.
“Fee increases are necessary to keep the park system viable after decades of under funding,” she said. “Without new fees, we would be forced to close a number of facilities across the state.”
Caplinger said the state agency is trying to determine the best options for increasing revenue, while providing widespread access to the park system.
During a hearing last week, Gino DeMarco, the agency’s deputy director, told lawmakers 9.3 million people visit Oklahoma state parks. The system raised about $26 million in revenue, primarily from camping and overnight lodging.
He said occupancy is increasing due to implementation of an online reservation system.
DeMarco also said officials are determining how to appeal to younger generations who like to hike, bike and camp in tents, but want to plug in their electronics.
He said there would be a push to electrify a lot of campsites.
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