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.