Minnesota parks see decline in visitors in 2013

MONTICELLO, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota’s state parks saw an overall decline in visitors this year, thanks to chilly, rainy weather that kept many people away at the start of the season.

The St. Cloud Times reports (http://on.sctimes.com/17wXhSM) that sales of vehicle permits are a key measure in determining how many people use state parks. For a seven-month period ending July 31, vehicle permit sales were down 7 percent when compared with the same period last year.

The drop also means lower revenue for the Department of Natural Resources.

Vehicle-permit sales for the month of July alone jumped by about 8 percent when compared with July 2012. Still, that wasn’t enough to offset the overall decline.

Managers at two state parks in central Minnesota say they’ve seen an uptick in permit sales in recent weeks.

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Information from: St. Cloud Times, http://www.sctimes.com

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