Louisiana Looking To Get Private Money For State Parks
How would you like to spend a weekend at Burger King State Park at Caddo Lake? Or Capital One State Park at Lake Bistineau?
It could happen with a new law passed at this year's legislative session in Baton Rouge. The statute, originally proposed by Houma Representative Norby Chabert, allows the state Office of Tourism to sell naming rights for state parks or to grant leases to companies who can add new attractions. For example, in a report from the Louisiana Radio Network, Lt. Governor Bill Nungesser said that a man in eastern Louisiana is already clearing trails as the state hammers out an agreement with him to bring a horseback operation into Bogue Chitto State Park. Nungesser also said that the state would be careful not to bring in businesses that would be competitors with local business.
The bottom line is, the upkeep of state parks is expensive, and the parks don't make money to take care of themselves; so the onus is on the state to provide funds for maintenance. Allowing private companies to bring new attractions to our parks is a win-win: there's more to make a park appealing, and the state has more in its coffers to maintain the park.