Thursday, November 30, 2023


West Virginia Legislature passes park privatization bill

The West Virginia Legislature voted late Saturday, March 12, to pass a bill that could privatize all but one of the state’s parks.

The West Virginia House passed the privatization bill 68 to 29, and the State Senate passed it by a margin of 32 to 10.

The Cacapon State Park Foundation came out strongly opposed to the bill.

“In addition to changing forever the legacy of our beautiful parks, privatization greatly increases the prices the public pays for golf, lodge rooms, cabins and other recreational facilities,” the Foundation said in opposition to the bill. “It could spell the end of state operations at Cacapon State Park.”

Opponents worried that the bill opens the door for “for profit” amusement parks, racetracks, casinos, and large-scale RV parks. A privately run 150-site campground is reportedly already in the planning stages for Cacapon State Park.


Mike Gast
Mike Gast
Mike Gast was the vice president of Communications for Kampgrounds of America Inc. for 20 years before retiring in 2021. He also enjoyed a long newspaper career, working as a writer and editor at newspapers in North Dakota, South Dakota, Oregon, and Montana. He and his wife, Lori Lyon, now own and operate the Imi Ola Group marketing company, focusing on the outdoor industry.



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Sherman Johnson (@guest_172444)
1 year ago

In general, well regulated capitalism works effectively, but some things should be run by the state and federal governments — among them, our PUBLIC roads; libraries; schools; and parks.

Our parks have always been intended to be available to ALL Americans, regardless of income. The idea of turning them into for-profit resorts is a gross violation of their original purpose.

This un-American bill would be extremely destructive if passed. It is clearly fueled by greed; selfishness; short-sightedness; and ignorance.

It is very sad that elected officials would even consider this. Maybe we should make all highways crazy expensive toll roads, and privatize all public schools. Can’t pay the tuition? Tough!

These legislators should be ashamed of themselves.

Bugsy (@guest_172329)
1 year ago

I can’t imagine privitizing state parks would ever be a good thing. And in such a beautiful state. Such a shame. I don’t see this ending well.

Chris Haggerty (@guest_172337)
1 year ago
Reply to  Bugsy

It does seem really unfortunate. Glad we’re getting there this Summer before the profiteering takes effect.

John Veltre (@guest_172220)
1 year ago

The NPS privatized maintenance of the Seneca Shadows campground in WV and you could see a decline in the maintenance and quality of the facilities. This, in my opinion, is not good.

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