SOUTH CAROLINA (WTOC) - South Carolina is making some changes with the new year, and for nature lovers they could be affecting how you spend your money.
Prices for admission at certain parks are increasing.
If you’re one of the thousands of people that visit the South Carolina state parks, the next time you go you may find it’s affecting your wallet a little bit more.
“2020 the South Carolina State Park Service has changed the park admissions for all 47 state parks in South Carolina,” said Park Director J.W. Weathorford.
Campers love Hunting Island Park. Weazl Gazel has been visiting for decades
“I guess about a dozen times over 20 years,” said Gazel.
Which is why when she found out the state park was increasing the price of admissions she supported it.
“I love this park and I understand that if the legislation doesn’t find the park, something has to fund the park. And perhaps camping fees from the park.”
That’s exactly the mindset the state park system was hoping its visitors would have.
“So this rate increase is really going to help us to be able to do more things at the park,” said Weathorford.
Park admissions will be going up by a few dollars per person - $3 per adult being the highest increase. The annual pass options have changed, but the highest level costs the same - $99.
The park system understands this may affect how some people are able to spend time there.
“If I were still a single parent and in school and working, I’d probably stay a few less nights,” said Gazel.
“We are the number one attraction in Beaufort County. And we were one of the lowest cheapest things that you could do,” said Weathorford.
But that doesn’t mean it’s cost-effective. Which is why the rate increases will help the park
“A benefit to the admission change at Hunting Island State Park is we’re going to get a little closer to what we were making before hurricane Matthew,” said Weathorford.
And they are hoping despite the increase, people still come enjoy the beaches and trails.
Weatherford said the best thing about spending your money inside a state park is that when you spend it here, the money stays in the state park system rather than going into a larger state fund.
You can see a list of the new prices here.