Wi-Fi on Way to South Dakota State Parks
The four state-owned resorts in South Dakota’s Custer State Park will soon have wireless Internet, and parks officials are hoping to extend the increasingly popular Wi-Fi service to public campgrounds nearby.
Other state parks are likely to follow in coming years, as officials add Wi-Fi to the more traditional campground amenities, according to the Rapid City (S.D.) Journal.
Custer State Park Superintendent Richard Miller said Tuesday (April 15) that the State Game Lodge, Sylvan Lake Lodge, Legion Lake Lodge and Blue Bell Lodge will have the service when they open for the season next month. Miller is working with Regency CSP Ventures LP, the concessionaire at the resorts, to determine which state campgrounds might be reached by the Wi-Fi service at the resorts.
“What we need to be able to piggyback on their service is a direct sight line, from the antennae to the campground,” Miller said.
Wi-Fi service is a camping amenity that park users are increasingly requesting across the nation. The service will become more common in South Dakota state parks in coming years, state Game, Fish & Parks Department parks director Doug Hofer of Pierre said.
The campground area downstream from Oahe Dam in the center of the state is the only state park or recreation area currently offering wireless service. But Hofer said state parks officials are exploring the possibility of adding wireless service to popular campgrounds at the Lewis and Clark State Recreation Area near Yankton.
There’s no question that an increasing public demand will make the service more common in the state-parks system, he said.
“We do have people who ask for it,” Hofer said. “Many people travel with their PCs, and it’s almost standard in hotels and motels. So it’s probably natural that it’s starting to spill over into campgrounds around the country.”