Holly Fretwell of PERC has completed a great new study of how use of private companies to handle park operations can help keep parks open and well-maintained. The introduction to the study is here and the study itself is here.
Some state park systems rely on tax dollars provided through state general funds. When state budgets are tight, park funding is a lower priority than projects such as schools and hospitals. Hence park budgets are quick to hit the chopping block, leading to threats of park closures or reduced services.
Rather than ride the roller coaster of state budgets, some parks have leased their operational activities to private managers. These private entities have proven they can operate the parks more efficiently, and sites that were once a drain on agency funds are now generating revenue.
Private management can provide consistent, quality stewardship as well as more customer service.
She also gives a nice plug for our upcoming national conference on November 2 in Scottsdale.