Camping in the state parks and recreational areas of South Dakota dropped last month, according to the latest data from the state’s Game, Fish & Parks Commission.
In the agenda packet for its meeting last week, camping in South Dakota decreased 32% in April, with only 6,881 campers compared to 10,068 the same time last year. As for the year-to-date (YTD) results, camping per district fell 29% with only 8,566 recorded compared to last year’s 12,141.
This means that 49 of the 56 parks and recreation areas that welcomed campers last year and are open again for camping this year had less foot traffic so far this year compared to 2021.
Presented by Al Nedved, deputy director for parks, the report also unveiled that park visits in April totaled 398,904, which is 21% lower than the 505,539 visits recorded the same month last year. YTD was also down 16% (1,152,495 in 2022 vs 1,371,115 in 2021). Fifty-one out of 60 facilities saw fewer people visit to enjoy outdoor activities.
Last month, lodging revenue was down only 9% (from $1,957,403 to $1,776,440). For the year so far, lodging revenue stumbled by 4% (from $5,717,356 to $5,477,661) while total parks revenue declined 15% for April with only $2,110,127 generated compared to $2,494,047 the previous year and the year-to-date being $6,375,123, down 6% from $6,802,196 last year.
To view the latest data from the Game, Fish, and Parks Commission, click here and go to pages 84-86 of the agenda packet.