Revenue now pays 90 percent of SC state park costs

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) -- South Carolina's state parks are experiencing record attendance and generating record revenues. And the chief of the state Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism says the parks are well on their well to paying for themselves.

Duane Parrish says park revenues have increased $4 million over four years. For the fiscal year that ended in June, the 47 parks and state historic sites in the system brought in $24 million -- enough to pay for 90 percent of ongoing operations.

Parrish says the parks have a blueprint to become self-sustaining by adding attractions to boost revenue.

Among the plans are a splash pad water feature opening next summer at Sesquicentennial State Park near Columbia, expanding the Dreher Island State Park Marina and adding cabins and campsites at other parks.