As a strategy to avoid closing state parks the Senate has okayed a bill to lease state parks to private concessionaires.
In addition to enabling the leasing of state parks the bill outlines what may be in the proposals submitted by potential vendors. Requests for proposals shall be broadly construed to allow for for:
1. One hundred per cent privately funded parks through contributions, fees or corporate sponsorships.
2. Facility enhancements, including lodging facilities, retail facilities, equipment rentals and amusement facilities.
3. The management of multiple park facilities.
4. Changing the purpose or function of an existing state park.
5. Any other innovation that facilitates the mission of a publicly-owned park.
Note that there is no requirement that current entrance fees remain the same…and who would expect it? It was expensive building that hotel and amusement facility. Need to change the purpose or function of an existing state park? Make us an offer we can’t refuse.
Now that the beast is dying we can lop off its more attractive parts and lease them to corporate America.
Text of Senate Bill 1349.