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Utah Travel Headlines

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Utah State Parks Break Visitation Records During Shutdown

Utah's state parks were the place to be when U.S. National Parks were shut down. Many of our parks saw a dramatic jump in visitation. Even when Utah provided funds so our 5 national parks could re-open, our state parks stayed busy.

That's not surprising, since our state parks offer scenery and adventure activities that rival that found in the nearby national parks.

KSL has this report about state park visitation. Below are excerpts.

If there was one positive thing from the National Park shutdown, it's that a lot of people learned more about and made the effort to visit our state parks.

Most of the increases in visitation happened in southern Utah near the National Parks, but even state parks, like Antelope Island, saw a lot more visitors than usual.

"Tour bus guides were screaming for us to do tours for people to see bison and deer and things like that," said John Sullivan, assistant park manager at Antelope Island.

Utah State Parks honored federal national park passes during the shutdown, and that cost Utah some revenue, but officials say it was worth it.

Swalberg said that the shutdown cost the state parks about $7,000 is lost revenue, but he feels it is a small price to pay to help visitors have positive memories of Utah.

Goblin Valley Vandalism
Meanwhile, two men are facing potential felony charges after toppling a hoodoo in Goblin Valley State Park. They had great fun, as you can see in the Youtube video below. Now authorities are looking for them, and they may face charges.

We invite you to have fun in our parks, but please don't damage the resources, intentionally or unintentionally.

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