SC state parks mark record revenue, closer to paying for themselves

South Carolina's state park system is experiencing record attendance and revenue.

The parks and state historic sites in the system brought in $24 million in 2013, putting them well on the path to pay for themselves, according to the SC Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism.

Increasing attendance is another reason parks have been able to pick up 90 percent of their operating tabs.

State parks and historic sites are funded through a combination of admission fees and state funds, but the increase in revenue has allowed the parks to move closer to self-sustainability, which means fewer tax dollars have to go to the system.

"What we're doing is for the users that use our state parks they are going to help pay for it and with the funding they help pay for cottage fees, cabin rentals, admission fees and we're putting that back into the state park and helping to make their visitor experience better," according to Ann Wilson, Interpretative Park Ranger at Myrtle Beach State Park.

The ongoing plan to move the state park system to full self-sustainability includes keeping park prices competitive, increasing attendance and adding new attractions.