With more people visiting and moving to the state each year, Colorado Parks and Wildlife has seen a significant increase in visitation to all 42 state parks, a trend expected to continue into the future. To provide the public with information about the challenges and discuss options for addressing them, CPW will hold a public meeting at The Lake House at Cherry Creek State Park, Monday, Nov. 28, 6 to 8 p.m.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife relies on park entrance fees, camping fees, lottery and GOCO to support 42 state parks. Over 12 million people visit the parks each year, contributing $1 billion to Colorado’s outdoor recreation economy.
"Because our parks are an important part of the state's economy and we anticipate a significant increase in visitation coming in the years to come, we need to begin a discussion now," said Northeast Deputy Regional Manager Windi Padia. "We have an excellent product to offer and we welcome more visitation, but with more people enjoying our parks comes additional strain to this resource. We invite the public to provide input and help us find effective solutions."
Among the needs CPW says will become necessary to meet public demands include: road improvements, infrastructure, additional facilities and possibly more staffing.
"When you consider the demands of a modern camper, including heating, cooling and electronics, it places a significant demand on our aging infrastructure systems," adds Padia. "We've seen utility bills go up 70 percent in the last 10 years at some parks. We all need to be ready for a busy future at our state parks."
Who: Colorado Parks and Wildlife
What: Public discussion about the challenges of increasing park visitation
When: Monday, Nov. 28, 6 to 8 p.m.
Where: The Lake House at Cherry Creek State Park, 4800 S. Dayton St., Englewood