Here’s an important press release from the California State Parks Foundation. The struggle to save access to state parks — and their hiking trails — continues…
State and Local Business Groups Launch ‘Closing Parks is Bad for Business’ Campaign
As part of its ongoing Save Our State Parks Campaign, the California State Parks Foundation (CSPF) launched a business-oriented campaign to send a powerful message to Gov. Brown and the Legislature: ‘Closing Parks is Bad for Business.’ The new campaign kicked off during a state parks march and rally at the Capitol today, where advocates gathered to bring awareness to the negative impacts park closures will have on California’s economy.
“Closing state parks is bad for California in so many ways, but particularly bad for our state’s business community, which is going to be greatly affected by park clsoures,” said Elizabeth Goldstein, president of CSPF. “Closing our state parks will only hurt the struggling small businesses that rely on state park visitors for survival, particularly in our current economic downturn.”
With over 70 million visits annually, California’s state parks are an important economic engine to the local communities in which they are located, generating over $4 billion in economic activity across the state. Studies have shown that every $1 invested in the state park system returns $2.35 to the state’s General Fund, largely in the form of economic activity in local economies. The plan to close 70 state parks will result in reduced revenues for local businesses and overall losses in local fees and taxes.
“State parks have a huge economic influence on local businesses around the state,” said John Severini, president/CEO of California Travel Association (CalTravel). “California’s travel and tourism industry — including hotels, local bed and breakfasts, restaurants, retail shops, tour operations and small businesses — rely on parks for visitation and economic activity, and they are really going to feel a negative impact from park closures.”
CalTravel partnered with CSPF in reaching out to the business community to spread the word about park closures and activate local and regional businesses to help fight closures.
Closing Parks is Bad for Business Campaign
The Closing Parks is Bad for Business Campaign was announced in conjunction with a march and rally in Sacramento this morning. Park advocates marched from the Leland Stanford Mansion State Historic Park (one of the 70 state parks currently planned for closure) to the state Capitol, then rallied on the Capitol steps in protest of park closures. Several business leaders lent their support to the new campaign, including: John Severini, president/CEO of CalTravel, Christina Strawbridge, chair of the Benicia Economic Council, Kevin Murphy, general manager of Sports Leisure Vacations, and Christopher Grant Ward of Folk4Parks.
“The vast majority of our customers are senior adults who are unable to travel great distances alone and prefer short trips by motorcoach close to home, which is a service we provide,” said Kevin Murphy of Sports Leisure Vacations. “Closing parks we regularly visit, like Bidwell Mansion, the Weaverville Joss House, and Railtown 1897 state historic parks, restricts our ability to provide access to these treasurers by our senior clientele and to bring much needed revenue to these destinations.”
Benicia Capitol State Historic Park
“The Benicia Capitol State Historic Park represents Benicia’s importance in early California history,” said Christina Strawbridge, chair of the Benicia Economic Council. “The park has played a significant role in the city’s recent tourism and marketing campaign, highlighting the town’s rich history, international art community and diverse shopping and dining district. As a small business owner in the downtown, its closure would mean dramatic loss in retail sales and visitor interest if these historic assets are closed.”
More information about the Closing Parks is Bad for Business Campaign can be found at savestateparks.org.