Sacramento, CA (PRWEB) May 24, 2012
As most Californians look forward to the unofficial start to summer this Memorial Day Weekend, a coalition of business groups with the Save Our State Parks Campaign today announced its opposition to the planned closure of one-quarter of California’s state parks due to budget cuts. Not only will these closures put a damper on future Memorial Day weekends by shuttering some of the most unique, historic, culturally important and iconic state parks in California, but these closures will also negatively impact California’s economy. Representing over 10,000 businesses throughout California, members of the coalition urged the governor in a letter today to continue funding the parks for the good of the state’s economic well being.
“Our member properties rely heavily on visitors to state parks,” said Lynn Mohrfeld, president & CEO of the California Hotel & Lodging Association and the California Association of Bed & Breakfast Inns. “Without these visitors, hotels and locally owned bed and breakfast inns that rely heavily on the state parks will be devastated. State parks are essential to keeping these businesses open and creating jobs.”
Organizations that oppose the closure of state parks include:
“Not only will our community suffer with the closure of state parks in our area, but our businesses will find it even tougher to make ends meet in these challenging economic times,” said Steve Van Dorn, president and CEO of the Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce & Convention-Visitors Bureau.
Governor Brown is aiming to save $22 million dollars by closing 70 state parks on July 1, but in doing so he will be cutting off part of the important economic engine that is the state parks system. Parks generate more than $6 billion in economic benefit to the state as a whole. More than 65 million visits are made to state parks annually and average park visitors spend $42 per day on items related to their park visit. This spending supports an estimated 56,000 jobs across the state; jobs that translate into a total labor income of $2.3 billion each year, which is recirculated in local economies. Forty-eight of California’s 58 counties are home to state parks and depend on revenues generated by park support and visitation.
“State parks provide a clear economic benefit, that is why so many chambers of commerce and business groups are coming to their defense,” said Elizabeth Goldstein, president of the California State Parks Foundation. “We understand that the governor is cutting many line items in the budget, but the cuts to our state parks are counterproductive to the overall economy and to the more than 100-year commitment to preserving these priceless public assets. In the face of closures, many communities are putting new, creative ideas forward to give their parks a reprieve – some that will last 12 months, some that will last a little longer. That creativity and innovation will continue, but can never substitute for a serious, sustainable funding commitment to our state parks.”
The Closing Parks is Bad for Business Campaign is an education and action campaign specifically aimed at highlighting the impact that closing state parks will have on businesses throughout California. This is a targeted effort of the Save Our State Parks Campaign, a grassroots campaign managed by the California State Parks Foundation (CSPF) to keep California’s magnificent state parks open and available. In partnership with organizations, businesses, local governments, and individuals around the state, CSPF is leading SOS Campaign activities and generating awareness and action about threats of park closures, service reductions and budget cuts. For more information, please visit http://www.savestateparks.org/badforbusiness.html.
Save Our State Parks Campaign
The Save Our State Parks (SOS) Campaign is a statewide, grassroots campaign to keep California’s magnificent state parks open and available – now and into the future. In partnership with organizations, businesses, local governments, and individuals around the state, the California State Parks Foundation is leading SOS Campaign activities and generating awareness and action about threats of park closures, service reductions and unacceptable budget proposals.