The following is a Letter to the Editor written by Donald G. Bennett Jr., president and CEO of Campground Owners of New York (CONY), that was distributed to various camping industry and New York State-based media:

May 20, 2010

To the Editor;

Just when it is time to start welcoming summer visitors – and their vacation dollars - to New York State, the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation is shutting down 41 parks and 14 historic sites across the state this week, due to state financial issues and the delay in an approved state budget.

These closures will affect the availability of traditional summer activities including camping, swimming, golfing, hiking, picnicking and other fun family adventures.  In fact, thousands of camping reservations have been cancelled by state parks already, in anticipation of these closures. People planning their vacations will have fewer options and opportunities to stay and play in New York State, but there are some options.

Privately-operated campgrounds in New York State certainly benefit from the business they derive from people visiting nearby state parks and historic sites and staying at the private parks. So these closures are bound to create a negative affect for local campground owners. We hope that state-level financial issues get resolved soon. However, your readership should know that privately operated campgrounds and RV parks are now open across the state, and many offer the same – if not better – activities and amenities as found in New York State parks, including swimming, fishing, hiking, camp stores, shower/restroom facilities – even golfing!

Camping is still one of the most affordable vacations that budget-minded citizens can indulge in, and Campground Owners of New York (CONY) wants potential visitors to continue having faith that they’ll find a fun and affordable vacation in New York State. CONY proposes that people who have had their reservations cancelled, or who may be wondering what to do for their getaway this year, look to camping and vacation options online at www.nycampgrounds.com or www.ilovenycamping.com.

In the meantime, CONY offers its hopes and wishes that the state budget is soon passed, and that tourism promotion funding and state parks and historic sites are restored so that they can better serve the income opportunities for the Empire State.  

Sincerely,

Donald G. Bennett, Jr.
President and CEO
Campground Owners of New York
don@nycampgrounds.com

Campground Owners of New York, headquartered in Pittsford, NY, is dedicated to the promotion, growth, improvement and development of privately owned campgrounds in New York State.

585-586-4360
1 Grove St., Suite 200
Pittsford, NY 14534
info@nycampgrounds.com, www.nycampgrounds.com

See published examples in:

http://blog.syracuse.com/opinion/2010/05/camping_options.html

http://www.woodallscm.com/2010/05/cony-touts-camping-in-troubled-empire-state/

http://www.adirondackdailyenterprise.com/page/content.detail/id/513213.html?nav=5005

http://www.oneidadispatch.com/articles/2010/05/25/opinion/doc4bfc5c1ae6c6a351452826.txt

http://www.saratogian.com/articles/2010/05/26/opinion/doc4bfc25d04c050742840924.txt