New efforts to boost attendance at Kentucky's resort parks - WDRB 41 Louisville News

New efforts to boost attendance at Kentucky's resort parks

High gasoline prices may actually pay off for people looking for a getaway close to home, especially with new efforts to boost attendance at Kentucky's resort parks.

General Butler State Park in Carrollton is about an hour's drive from downtown Louisville.  It's one of 17 resort parks in the Kentucky parks system.

Scott Williams, Acting Manager at General Butler Acting Manager says, "I've seen this year more people locally using the parks rather than coming from farther away."

Kentucky's resort parks are filled with beautiful scenery, walking trails where you can discover plenty of wildlife, and other summertime activities.

But what the parks system would like to see are more visitors.  Overall, occupancy rates were down for the first two months of this summer at the resort parks.

Lodges and cottages are down 4% in June, 2% in July compared to a year ago.  The number of campers is down 9% in June and 3% in July.  The cost of gasoline is getting the blame.

The state parks department believes many people just stayed home this summer.  So it's come up with a promotion that will run from Labor Day thru December to try to attract more visitors during the fall when occupancy rates sometimes run just 20% during the week.

I'ts called Discover Your Own Backyard, and it allows you to stay in a room Sunday through Thursday for $50 a day at state parks.

Earlier this year, the state Auditor's Office in a report said the parks system needed increased marketing to improve its bottom line.

The Parks Department has a new marketing director, so it's likely there will be even more efforts in the coming months to get more people into Kentucky's state parks.

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