OMSP not on list of closing Alabama state parks

Published 12:24 pm Monday, October 5, 2015

Oak Mountain State Park is not on the list of five Alabama state parks that will be closing in October. (File)

Oak Mountain State Park is not on the list of five Alabama state parks that will be closing in October. (File)


MONTGOMERY—The Alabama State Parks System is implementing a new contingency operations plan that went into effect Oct. 1 as a result of the budget cuts for fiscal year 2015-16.

According to an Oct. 1 press release, Oak Mountain State Park has not yet been affected by the legislation’s budget cuts, but the new plan does include the closure of five parks.

This new contingency operations plan also includes a reduction in staff and operational hours at additional parks and park facilities, as well as a potential concession operation for one facility and other new approaches to serving the public.

Beginning Oct. 15, Bladon Springs, Paul Grist, Chickasaw, Florala and Roland Cooper state parks will close.In addition to the closure of five parks, a number of parks and park facilities will reduce staff and operational hours.

Rickwood Caverns and Blue Springs will be closed during fall and winter, Desoto and Cheaha Lodge & Restaurant will operate on weekends only during fall and winter, Bucks Pocket campground will close and transition to an unmanned, day-use only park to be managed by a nearby resort park.

The park system will attempt to transfer Lakepoint’s golf course to a concessionaire, and if that is unsuccessful, the golf course will be closed.

Day fees at parks will transition from $4 per adult to $5 per adult, but smaller parks with fewer amenities may receive a different fee structure. There will be an 8 percent increase on select base lodging rates, coupled with a new 5 percent discount for Alabama residents.

Other changes include an increase in marina slip rentals, new resort fee to address resort maintenance costs not directly tied to other fee structures, new park pass program to capture the present unrealized day-use revenue in ungated parks and a new backcountry permit to attend to trails and related backcountry recreational services/programs.

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