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The Future of Alabama State Parks A consideration for supporting new recreational programs in AL State Parks.

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Presentation on theme: "The Future of Alabama State Parks A consideration for supporting new recreational programs in AL State Parks."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Future of Alabama State Parks A consideration for supporting new recreational programs in AL State Parks

2 AL State Parks Mission To acquire and preserve natural areas; To develop, furnish, operate and maintain recreational facilities; To extend the publics knowledge of the states natural environment; AL Code Section to

3 AL State Parks Profile: Created in 1939, presently 22 parks in 21 counties The 22 parks collectively have ~47,000 Acres Five resort parks with lodge, restaurant, and meeting facilities Ten Parks with modern cottages and campgrounds Twenty-one parks with modern campgrounds Two parks with cave tours

4 AL State Parks Profile: 2,300 modern campsites 220 cabins, cottages and chalets 343 Resort Hotel Rooms 6 Golf Courses 200+ miles of recreational trails Thousands of acres of adjacent public waters

5 AL State Parks Profile: 4.6 Million Customer Occurrences Customer origin: 50% AL/50% other 22 Parks Rev/Exp ratio: $29.8 M/$28.9 M AL operates a user pay system Partners: recreational clubs, land trusts, historical societies, wildlife enthusiasts, local governments

6 Park Profile Small (<50,000 VO; all < $600,000 Rev.) – Roland Cooper, Bladon Springs, Blue Springs, Bucks Pocket, Chickasaw, Cathedral, Florala, Meaher, Paul Grist, Frank Jackson Medium (50,000 to 200,000 VO; $0.25 to 1.8 M) – Cheaha, Chewacla, Desoto, Lurleen, Rickwood, Monte Sano Large (200,000 + VO; all > $1.5 Million Rev.) – Gulf, Joe Wheeler, Guntersville, Lakepoint, Oak Mt, Wind Creek

7 The Most Significant Misperception I pay my taxes, why do we have to pay for x, y, and Z? 70% of customers believe we are a tax supported system AL State Parks are a user-pay funded system Within the 22 state parks, a comparison of revenues vs. expenses show a small profit through customer derived revenues The majority of customer revenue comes from overnight guests

8 Alabama State Parks ADCNR Management Overview

9 Revenue Profile: major contributors Guest Derived Revenue:$29.8 M Camping:$6.6 M Cottages/cabins/chalets:$4.7 M Admission/tours/fees:$3.9 M Lodge rooms:$3.2 M Sales:$2.9 M Golf:$2.0 M

10 Revenue Profile (22 Parks) 10 Parks account for $27.9 M, or 94% of systems total guest revenue ($29.8 M) Joe Wheeler, Monte Sano, Cathedral, Guntersville, DeSoto, Cheaha, Oak Mtn., Wind Creek, Lake Point, Gulf These same 10 parks account for 94% of the systems guest attendance. GSP accounts for 23% ($6.8 M )of guest revenue, and 45% of guest attendance. 5 of the 10 are consistently in the black Among the 12, only Chewacla & Meaher are in the black

11 Revenue Profile: Guntersville 2012 revenue- $4,300,000 Revenue sources: – 30% from lodge – 29% from restaurant – 7% from golf course – 13% from cottages – 5% from campground – 0% from gate admissions – 15% from other misc.

12 Expenditure Profile 22 parks have a $28.9 Million expenditure 10 Parks account for $26.3 M, or 91% of systems total expenditure Guntersvilles expenditure was $5,400,000 – 54% was salaries and benefits – 3% was standard repairs and maintenance – 13% was utilities – 7% was supplies – 23% other

13 Visitor Profile FY : 4,662,312 visitor occurrences Overnight guests: 1,014,016 (22%) Other revenue/guests (e.g., pier, golf, gate counts): 2,465,430 (53%) Non-revenue guests (e.g., boat ramps, beaches): 1,151,321 (25%)

14 Visitor Profile FY : Of the 4,662,312 visitor occurrences, 2,102,736 of the visitation took place at Gulf State Park, or 45% of the systems annual attendance. 56 % of GSP visitation are from out of state. Of the 4,662,312 visitor occurrences, 50% are from out of state.

15 Adjustments to the 10/12 Model ~94/91% of revenue/costs come from 10 of the 22 state parks This is our 10/12 Model Any adjustments to facilities or the 12 small parks will NOT yield large savings The most significant annual costs for capital efforts, salaries and O/M will always be from the big 10

16 Options for Future Revenue Annual Park Pass or Recreational License New recreation attractions or concessions – Ziplines and challenge courses – Trails and lift system – water features Beach fee Recreational equipment fee (e.g., camper/5 th wheel registration like boat) Can Parks fees be woven into FA matrix?

17 Options for Future Revenue Adventure Centers hosting unique guest packages and programs: – Ecotours (rare bird adventures, bat caves, bog sites) – Unique trail programs (e.g., mountain biking system) – Spelunking packages – Adventure camps – Hunting and Fishing programs – Whitewater packages

18 Options for Future Revenue Additional camping units at select parks which have a demonstrated occupancy rate supporting these additions (e.g., Gulf SP) Additional cabin units at select parks which have a demonstrated occupancy rate supporting these additions (e.g., Oak Mtn.) Park Gating and related entrance fees

19 The Future of AL State Parks: Developing a 5 Year Plan What do you, the customer and partner, want from your park system? Do changes in our society warrant changes to the park system? Do you want more parks, or less? Do you want new recreational opportunities? How do you want the parks to be funded? Ideas for a new support system...

20 The Future of AL State Parks: Developing a 5 Year Plan What do you, the customer/partner, want from your parks? Ex: A robust Recreational Trails Program Do changes in our society warrant changes to the park system? Ex: wireless technology... Do you want more parks, or less? 1989 Do you want new recreational opportunities? Ex: canopy tours/ziplines, alpine slide, cable skiing... How do you want the parks to be funded? Ideas for a new support system- Parks Foundation, Car Tag, state tax check-off, user pass system...

21 Advancing Outdoor Recreation Annual Park Pass or Recreational License New recreation attractions or concessions – Ziplines and challenge courses – Trails and related support systems – water features Recreational equipment fee (e.g., camper/5 th wheel registration like boat) Can Parks fees be woven into FA matrix?

22 ASP: Mountain Biking in the Past Monte Sano Oak Mountain Chewacla Initially, not really welcome... Clubs formed, conducted themselves professionally, and won over the park staff

23 ASP: Mountain Biking in the Present Monte Sano-15 miles Oak Mountain-30 miles Chewacla-16 miles Lake Lurleen-24 miles Cheaha- 8 miles DeSoto-11 miles

24 ASP: Mountain Biking in the Future Monte Sano, Oak Mtn., Chewacla, Lake Lurleen, Cheaha, DeSoto Guntersville-6,000 acres Joe Wheeler-2,500 acres Cathedral Caverns- 400 acres Wind Creek-1,400 acres

25 ASP: Mountain Biking in the Future Synergy with related amenities – Pump tracks – BMX courses Future Parks on Forever Wild lands? – Coldwater Mountain (4,000 acres) – Walls of Jericho (20,000 acres) – Yates Lake (5,000 acres)

26 ASP: Mountain Biking in the Future Re-casting the mold Taking what we have and developing a designed trail system, rather than parks with trails... Golfs example via the Robert Trent Jones Trail If we build it, will they come? They already have!

27 ASP: Mountain Biking in the Future Lets make something special... What will it take? – A dedicated trail specialist to work with professionals, clubs, and other partners – A dedicated trail crew to build new trails and maintain or re-work existing ones – A new form of dedicated funding? ASP Recreational License (Dirt Pass)

28 Whats in a name? A lot! Whats your reaction to the following phrases? – Recreational License – Dirt Pass – Annual Permit – Membership Program – Rewards Program Each one could do the same thing, fund recreation.

29 Examples of Existing License Systems Motor Vehicles Boat Registration Hunting Fishing WMA system (700,000 acre hunting system)

30 History of Hunting and Fishing Licenses Initiated in 1938 National sportsmen's caucus and related groups Regulate and License the activity, by state Tax related industry to provide states matching federal funds to support state game and fish agency

31 History of Hunting and Fishing Licenses, continued Excise tax on hunting and fishing equipment collected by federal government from hunting and fishing industry Return tax revenue to state G&F based on formula of population, size of state... State generates matching $ through hunting and fishing license sales Ratio- 3 federal $/1 state $

32 History of Hunting and Fishing Licenses, continued Classic User Pay system No comparable park model No comparable non-consumptive model Why? Why not make one? What would it look like?

33 History of Hunting and Fishing Licenses, continued # Hunters and anglers in AL w/ licenses – 250,000 $25.05 = $6,262,500 – 580,000 $12.50 = $7,250,000 – 40,000 WMA $16.70 = $668,000 Revenue from feds- 3:1

34 Advancing Recreation in ASP: Mountain Biking Model What do you want in the way of a mountain biking system in Alabama? Are you interested in the RTJ model? Beyond design & build, how will it be maintained? What would you be willing to pay annually to maintain and support such a system?

35 Parks Recreational Dirt Pass: Mountain Biking Model When thinking about a pass system, we must think about the # of individual users Example: How many individual Mtn. Bikers ride in Alabama? Basic Math example – 20,000 Mtn. $50/yr = $1,000,000 revenue – Supporting dedicated trail crew for annual maintenance and construction

36 Parks Recreational Dirt Pass: Trail User Model When thinking about a pass system, we must think about the # of individual users Example: How many individual trail users are in Alabama using State Parks? Basic Math example – 40,000 trail $25/yr = $1,000,000 revenue – Supporting dedicated trail crew for annual maintenance and construction

37 A Parting Thought Do you play golf, or know anyone who does? Golf is a recreational past-time... Golf takes place on a recreational course... Some golf courses are collectively known to be components of a trail system... What if we managed our public trails like we manage public golf? Think about it...

38 75 Years of Public Service From the past to the present, your parks have persisted through a user pay system Partners Pay the Way campaign Public appreciation programs during 2014, recognizing our partners and 75 Years of success Thank You for being a partner to the State Parks!

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