Utah State Parks Increase 5.8% in 2012 Visits
Utah State Parks employees have worked hard the past few years to develop programs and create experiences to pull in more visitors.
Their efforts seem to be reaping benefits.
The state agency reported a 5.78% jump in visitation from 2011 to 2012 with more than 5 million visits last year, up from 4.8 million the previous year, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.
More visitors also mean more money, and roughly $1.175 million was collected due to the increase. That money will go back into operations, management and renovations.
"We would love to reach around and pat ourselves on the back for doing it all, but the economy continues to play a role as people are tending to stay a little closer to home," said Utah State Parks Director Fred Hays. "Maybe Utahns are going out and discovering things to do in Utah and then going back to them or taking in other parks."
The water-based parks and local hiking/wildlife viewing parks dominated visitation in 2012, but Hays said he is impressed with the growth in smaller "community-type" parks and even museums.