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New York State Parks to Remain Open in Winter
    2008-11-02 10:57:41     Xinhua

Most of the state parks in New York State will remain open this winter, but staff, special services and camp grounds will be missing as a result of tight budget.

Official sources said that the parks, covering an area of 325,000 acres (about 1,315 square kilometers), will be open to visitors who will still be able to walk, snowshoe or ski. But they will not be provided with services because the state government does not have enough money to pay for the staff.

New York State Governor David Paterson said earlier that the current economic downturn has left the state government facing a deficit of 1.5 billion U.S. dollars this year and 12.5 billion dollars next year, even following cuts he ordered in parks and other agency programs of more than 13 percent.

Statistics show that more than 55 million visitors come annually to New York's 178 parks and 35 historic sites. Although many people tend to choose close-to-home "staycation," demand will remain strong and could increase dramatically, park officials said.

A staycation is a period of time in which an individual or family stays at home and relaxes at home or takes day trips from their home to area attractions. Staycations have achieved high popularity in current hard economic times in which unemployment levels and gas prices are high.



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