McDONOUGH – Bowman Lake State Park opened for its peak season last Friday with little fanfare, but for those who feared the 660 acre-park would be a victim of the state’s budget crisis, it is cause for celebration.
One of those celebrating is Chenango County’s Director of Tourism, Audrey Robinson.
“I was excited and thrilled to hear that Bowman Lake State Park would remain open for business as usual,” she reported. “It’s good to know, as one of our greatest outdoor assets, that thousands of visitors will still get to enjoy their annual vacation spot.”
According to Robinson, more than 55,000 visitors visit the park each year.
“With affordable rates, a beautiful setting, and the family memories that it offers up, it’s a big part of what makes Chenango special,” she said.
Bowman’s Park Manager, Joe Morisette, is thankful for the support the park has received.
“We’re glad to be open and we appreciate all the support,” he said.
Despite, or perhaps because of, concern over the park’s future, Morisette said he is expecting a busy summer. Reservations are already ahead of schedule by two to three weeks, he explained. The facility’s 189 campsites are already fully booked for Memorial Day weekend, and are filling up fast for July 4th weekend.
Morisette attributes this influx to several factors, including the closures of near-by Hunts Pond and Oquaga Creek State Parks. He said he believes the economy is also playing a role, with families choosing less-expensive options for their summer vacations. Camping at the park is certainly reasonable, at $15 for a weekday campsite and $19 on weekends and holidays.
And the media attention the entire state park system has received in recent months hasn’t hurt either, he said. “It’s proves there’s no such thing as bad publicity.”