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Media inquiries: Please contact Julie Buchanan, julie.buchanan@dcr.virginia.gov, 804-786-2292.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: May 29, 2014
Contact: Gary Waugh, DCR Public Relations Manager, (804) 786-5045, gary.waugh@dcr.virginia.gov

Virginia State Parks enjoy record-setting Memorial Day weekend

RICHMOND – Virginia State Parks had a record-setting Memorial Day weekend in large part thanks to great weather and a statewide case of cabin fever. Both attendance and revenue for the 36-park system reached new highs, eclipsing previous records set in 2012.

“We’re delighted so many people chose to enjoy the great weather and shake off the effects of a long winter by visiting their Virginia State Parks,” said Clyde Cristman, director of the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation. “This strong turnout shows that these parks are an attractive part of Virginia’s tourism mix and an important part of their communities.” DCR manages the Virginia State Park system.

The more than 330,000 visits over the extended weekend are a 30 percent increase over last year’s Memorial Day weekend and six percent ahead of the record set in 2012. The state park system collected more than $700,000 for camping, cabin rental, parking, swimming, boat rental and other visitor-related fees over the weekend, besting the 2012 total of approximately $688,000.

“Perhaps the best part is that it appears everyone had a safe and fun weekend in the parks,” said DCR State Parks Director Joe Elton. “By all accounts our staff did an outstanding job in being gracious hosts. This all bodes well for the upcoming season.”

Seen as the traditional opening of the summer season, the record setting 2014 Memorial Day weekend follows a record setting 2013 when more than 8.8 million visits were made to the Virginia State Park system.

For more information on the offerings of Virginia’s 36 award-winning state parks go to www.virginiastateparks.gov or call toll-free 800-933-7275 (PARK).  

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