Montana Parks Reporting Higher Visitations
Summer visitation is up this year, as more people headed to Montana’s state parks. According to a report by the Helena News, officials say the season peaked in July with nearly 450,000 visitors.
Montana State Parks Administrator Chas Van Genderen says, "It's natural beauty, we have a great product here. Our historic sites, all that Montana has to offer, is an attraction."
Nearly 1.3 million people visited Montana state parks during the 2012 summer season, up 7 percent compared to previous years.
Van Genderen says, "We saw a 7 percent increase over our summer season in large part because we've been doing a good job. We have more summer programs that are going on whether it be the outdoor fest at Spring Meadow Lake or the Montana Wild Center."
He says other factors contributing to the increase also include campsite reservation use, outdoor water recreation activity and cleaner more up-to-date facilities.
"We've seen a consistently, a trend that consistently focuses us toward more and more visitation and whether that's because we're reinvesting in our maintenance facilities or our staff is giving great service, people just love the value of coming to a state park," said Van Genderen.
The increase in Montana State Park attendance is a combination of both out-of-state tourists and Montana residents.