Tourism At Oklahoma State Parks Sees Record-Breaking Numbers In 2021

Thursday, September 2nd 2021, 11:08 am
By: News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -

Lots of people plan on heading out to Oklahoma state parks for the long holiday weekend. The state tourism department said a record-breaking number of visitors are enjoying campgrounds and lakes this year. 

‘’We’ve been doing this end-of-summer lake day for a long time," said Connie Berson. She and her group of friends said they go back to Keystone Lake year after year because of everything the park has to offer and other people have a similar idea. “Day use has increased, camping has increased, cabin usage has increased, I mean it’s just everything," said Chad McCall. 

McCall is the Keystone Park Manager and said he hasn't seen a slow season since the pandemic started. The Oklahoma Tourism Department said in 2019 there were 9 million visitors at state parks. That number jumped up to 11.5 million in 2020 and they've already seen 11.6 million visitors in 2021. McCall said he hasn't seen any signs of things slowing down. 

“A lot more people from town come out and say we didn’t even know the park was out here even though you know they’re 15 miles away from it. It’s been nice being able to get the word out here that have never been here before. You know a lot of them they’ve lived here their whole life and didn’t even know the park was here," said McCall. 

Some changes are coming to the parks too. New bathrooms, roads, signs, and more. In total, $48.6 million in renovations at parks across the state. Berson said she's happy to see the changes to a park she visits often.

"This park area is always clean. We feel safe being here. It’s a cove so when it’s windy the kayaks don’t get carried away by the wind. We can kayak easily here," said Berson.