Campers cope with rate increase

Sunday, June 15th 2008, 9:11 pm
By: News 9

By Jeffrey Smith, for NEWS 9

Campers at Oklahoma's state parks will pay more this summer to pitch their tents.

A rate increase takes effect Monday morning, raising the price of renting a camp site from $8 to $10. The rate hike applies only to tent site and doesn't affect RV sites.

Officials said the increase was necessary to fund park upkeep, but campers like Madelyn Bish said they're not happy about the hike.

"It cuts in when you want to spend a lot of time to take a vacation," Bish said.

Bish camps out for most of the summer. She says she'll have to cut back on vacation extras.

"The extra little stuff, like the extra bag of marshmallows or the extra water toy," said Bish.

Oklahoma parks need to generate their own revenue for upkeep. Officials said their bills for water and electricity have been skyrocketing.

"It's just one of those things, that the times came, and it's time to increase," said Donna Larson of Keystone State Park.

At the park near Mannford, long-term campers like Vonda Myers said the increase will take its toll.

"It still hurts; it still hurts the rest of us," Myers said.

Other campers who come for just a few weekends said the price increase isn't a big deal.

"Eight dollars ain't that bad, so $10 wouldn't be that much more," camper Cari Fry said. "I love being outdoors. Fishing, being here with the kids, it's great to get out of the house," said Fry.