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Va. state parks set Memorial Day weekend record

May 29, 2014 2:52pm
First Landing SP, in Va. Beach, is the state's most visited state park.

First Landing SP, in Va. Beach, is the state’s most visited park unit.

Virginia State Parks had a record-setting Memorial Day weekend in large part thanks to great weather and maybe a statewide case of cabin fever. Both attendance and revenue for the 36-park system reached new highs, eclipsing previous records set in 2012.

The more than 330,000 visits over the extended weekend are a 30 percent increase over last year’s Memorial Day weekend and six percent ahead of the record set in 2012. The state park system collected more than $700,000 for camping, cabin rental, parking, swimming, boat rental and other visitor-related fees over the weekend, besting the 2012 total of approximately $688,000.

“Perhaps the best part is that it appears everyone had a safe and fun weekend in the parks,” said DCR State Parks Director Joe Elton. “By all accounts our staff did an outstanding job in being gracious hosts. This all bodes well for the upcoming season.”

Seen as the traditional opening of the summer season, the record setting 2014 Memorial Day weekend follows a record setting 2013 when more than 8.8 million visits were made to the Virginia State Park system.

About Andy Thompson

I was the Outdoors Columnist at the Times-Dispatch from 2007 to 2013, writing twice a week about mountain biking, fishing, hunting, paddling and much more. I live a 1/4 mile from the James River, close enough to see bald eagles soaring over my house on their way to find a meal. Pretty cool, eh?