Arizona State Park Tries Periodic Closings to Save Money
Oracle State Park, which reopened in February after being closed for more than two years by budget cuts, is closed again.
But the closure at the end of April doesn't mark the end of the story for this park located north of Tucson, Ariz., the Arizona Daily Star reported
It will reopen again in September – if only for three months, after which it will close once more.
It's not certain when, or if, the park might reopen yet another time, officials said.
That might all sound a bit confusing, but it's part of a plan to keep the park open on a part-time basis with help from fundraising efforts by the Friends of Oracle State Park.
"From our standpoint, the reopening from February through April went way better than expected," said Steven Haas, manager of the park. "I was pleased with attendance and the revenue" brought in by admission fees.
Haas, who also manages Catalina State Park north of Tucson, said attendance during the three-month period was about 4,000.
The relatively low number reflects the fact that the park – known for its oak grasslands and a historic ranch house – was open to the public only on Saturdays. School groups had access Wednesdays through Fridays by reservation.
"For the three months, the park brought in over $6,000 in revenue from day use fees and school groups," Haas said. Admission fees at the park are $7 per vehicle.
"We're so thankful for the Friends of Oracle State Park and the volunteers who helped make this possible," Haas said.
He said the park will reopen Sept. 1 and remain open until Nov. 24. Subsequent reopenings will depend on future state funding and fundraising efforts.