State Campgrounds Booming During Federal Shutdown

Sunday, October 13th 2013, 10:03 pm
By: News On 6

The Federal Government shutdown has some campers worried about their weekend plans. Keystone State Park, operated by the Oklahoma State Parks, is reporting a higher than normal turnout.

Keystone State Park rangers are seeing increased numbers of campers calling in and asking if they have a spot to camp.

"This would be a slow weekend in October, and now were pretty much capacity full," said Wayne Hayes, park ranger.

Several campsites operated by the Army Corps of Engineers has people looking for other options. Tony Heurta was worried he couldn't spend a weekend out with his family camping.

"I called their number and said, 'Are you guys closed? I know you're apart of the Corps of Engineers as far as the lakes concerned - will you guys be open?' They said, 'yep were open come on in.'" said camper Tony Huerta.

He's noticed more campers using the state parks which are open during the shutdown.

"I do think it's busier because of the shutdown," he said, "because it's close, you know, it's minutes away from Tulsa. So those people who have their national plans can actually come here, and it definitely helps the state quite a bit."

Park Rangers haven't seen weekends full of campers like this in a long time.

"The business is nice," said ranger Wayne Hayes. "We wish the whole lake was open for everybody to utilize."

If you decide to camp at the state park and the government reopens, you won't be at a loss.

"If you pay for a night here and you go to the Corps park, we will give you a rain check, which will be good in any state park for a year so you won't lose any of your money," said Park Ranger Wayne Hayes.

There are no reservations on campgrounds for the state park. They are on a first come, first serve basis.