Friday, November 28, 2014

Privatization Set to Destroy Kentucky's Crown Jewel State Parks

The reason people flock to Kentucky State Parks for everything from vacations to business meetings is because there's not a private resort anywhere to match them.

Open the parks to private contractors and they'll be just another ratty Motel 6 overcharging to no amenities.

Bill Estep at the Herald:

State tourism officials are seeking proposals for a developer to build the first privately operated lodge at a Kentucky state park.

The state issued a request Wednesday for developers to submit proposals on building a lodge at General Burnside Island State Park, which is surrounded by Lake Cumberland in southern Pulaski County.

Having a lodge on the island has long been a dream of local officials.

Tourism is a significant part of the economy in the area, which includes not only the lake, but also nearby attractions such as Cumberland Falls, the Daniel Boone National Forest and the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area.


Under the state's request, a company would build a lodge at its cost and operate it, and could also include a restaurant, convention facility and swimming pool, according to a news release.

The state would get rent payments or a percentage of the revenue from the project.


The study said parking for the lodge would wipe out about 45 of the 110 sites at the campground.

The request for proposals did not estimate the cost of building the lodge. The state has an incentive program under which a developer could get a tax rebate equal to half its investment.
So: wiping out half the park's camping sites, the affordable way for most of the state's residents to enjoy state parks, sacrificing park revenue for 50-plus years and once again slashing state tax receipts so that more Kentucky children have to crowd into 60-kid classrooms because teachers have been laid off.

Just. Fucking. Genius.

Kentucky's State Resort Parks were built by government workers, starting with the Civilian Conservations Corps and Works Progress Administration during the Depression.

Private corporations nearly destroyed the global economy; government workers paid by government programs supported by tax dollars saved it.

 If a lodge at General Burnside is such a great fucking idea, let the state build it and get all the economic growth and revenue from it.

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