Thursday, May 19, 2011
"We've got a lot of people that are coming in and getting their spots picked for the holiday weekend," said Chris Becker, park ranger for Cheney State Park.
Rangers like Becker have been getting campgrounds ready for the hundreds of people expected at the lake for Memorial Day weekend.
"We're probably right on target where we've been, as far as the last few years, filling up wise. With the gas prices being high, people are staying closer to home," said Becker.
Dozens of camping trailers and boats have already found their prime spots for next weekend, some even 14 days in advance of the holiday.
"We can see people coming in. There's a lot of trailers sitting, nobody around them. They've already found their spots," said Bob and Doris Cottle, campers from Hutchinson.
Not everyone chooses to bring their own campers. Cabins are also filling up. Decker said the cabins have been booked for Memorial Day weekend for the past couple of months.
"With the gas prices as high as they are, you can't afford to drive very far. This is a good place to bring your family and relax and enjoy camping and fishing and whatever you want to do," said Doris Cottle.
AAA is estimating 31 million Americans nationwide will hit the road to reach their holiday destination, accounting for 88 percent of travelers.
"The phones, the last couple of days, been busy," said Becker. "People calling, wanting to know how full we are."
Rangers said the increased traffic at the park will keep them busy next weekend. They hope people will abide by the rules of the park and not let the fun get out of control.
"Hopefully everybody's safe and gets along good and hope for the best," said Becker.
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