Posted by Doug Wahl - email
CAROLINA BEACH,NC (WECT)-2009 was a record year for the North Carolina State Park System.
More than 14 million visitors stop by one of the State Parks which is an increase of 13 percent over the previous year.
All though the increase is part of a larger trend, attendance at State Parks have been steadily been going up over the past 25 years, the Governor's Office admits the slow economy probably had a lot to do with this year's increase.
"It's obvious North Carolinians and visitors to our state recognize the tremendous value our state parks offer in terms of affordable family experiences and respite from a difficult economy," said Governor. Bev Perdue. The theory is that in 2009 more people cut back on lavish out-of-state trips and choose a cheaper alternative.
The state parks system manages more than 208,000 acres, including 34 state parks and four state recreation areas.
The nearest State Park to Wilmington is in Carolina Beach. There the attendance went from 464,000 in 2008 to 499,000 in 2009. That's an increase in 35,000 visitors.