In a recommendation that would go the opposite direction of what the private campground sector is experiencing, Ohio State Auditor Dave Yost recommends that the state should create more campsites for towable RVs and motorhomes in state parks and should dump 29 less-profitable cabins, the Columbus Dispatch reported.
The changes could generate more than $3.3 million in average annual returns and $3.8 million in one-time cost avoidance, says the audit, one of a series conducted at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).
“Smarter planning and capital investment works just as well in the woods as it does in the city,” Yost said in a statement. “Ohio has an opportunity to enhance the outdoor experience in our beautiful state parks for many years to come.”
Department of Natural Resources Director Jim Zehringer said, “We at ODNR appreciate the growing desire among Ohioans to have the opportunity to enjoy the state’s amazing open spaces and we are eager to provide them with the facilities that will enhance their experience while they are there.”
The 29 cabins are those experiencing an operating loss out of the state park system’s current 292.
“The majority of cabins have already technically exceeded their original useful life estimates and are represented as negative values. Further, a large number of additional cabins at Hocking Hills will cross the end of useful life threshold within the next three years. Though most cabins have exceeded their expected useful life, all are still in service,” Yost’s audit found.
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