State Senator Jim Wilson, Chair of the Senate Tourism and Wildlife Committee said Oklahoma’s state parks and resorts will be open for the July 4 weekend even if there is a state government shutdown.
Wilson (D-Tahlequah) said there is enough generated revenue to keep them open.
“I want to make it clear to everyone, including the lieutenant governor, that Oklahoma’s state parks and resorts will be open during the July 4 holiday weekend,” Wilson said. “There will be no shutdown. It will be business as normal.”
Mike Fina, spokesperson for the Department of Tourism said, “It is easy to understand how someone could come to the conclusion that state parks would not operate under a government shutdown, but the reality is the parks will be open for business through the July 4th weekend,” Fina said. “In preparation for a potential shutdown we created a plan using generated revenue from the parks that will allow us to operate beyond the holiday weekend. Obviously visitors are our top priority and the last thing we want to do is interrupt families who have scheduled to celebrate at state parks during this holiday.”
Wilson said Lt. Gov. Mary Fallin, who chairs the state Tourism Commission that oversees the park and resort system, was wrong in saying the parks and resorts could close because a budget agreement hadn’t been reached.
Wilson said Fallin, who is running for Congress, is looking for publicity.
“Mary Fallin is in the middle of a heated Congressional primary race and she will do anything to grab headlines,” Wilson said. “Her priorities are in the wrong place. She is focused on the next election. She should be focused on the business of the state.”
Wilson said Oklahomans shouldn’t change their holiday plans.
“Tourism is big business in Oklahoma and the July 4 weekend is the biggest weekend of the year for Oklahoma’s state parks and resorts.”