Privatization of Five Ga. Parks Raises Concern

May 29, 2013 by · Comments Off on Privatization of Five Ga. Parks Raises Concern 

People who enjoy visiting some Georgia state parks are worried those visits will soon cost them more.

Georgia Veterans State Park in Cordele is one of five parks the state is privatizing.

WALB TV, Albany, reported that Coral Hospitality, which will begin managing the parks July 1 in an effort to save the state money, says it will not raise costs. The state will still own the parks, but no longer run them.

Coral Hospitality CEO Lee Weeks said they are only managing parks that have lodges, adding that the firm has been running Lake Blackshear Resort for more than five years.

When it comes to the state parks, “hopefully it would be all positive things that they would see,” said Weeks. “Will there be any major drastic changes of things they could do before that they can’t now? I would say the answer to that would be no.”

State officials say it’s a financial necessity. Federal and state parks across the country are struggling to survive and Weeks says this may be a solution.

“I think Georgia is leading the way in trying to find ways to keep their parks open instead of closing them, which I think it’s really good for their citizenry,” noted Weeks.

He says he does not immediately know if prices will be impacted.

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