Cedars of Lebanon State Park has instituted a new procedure for campers wishing to visit the park.
Effective immediately, all campers are required to reserve a space in advance. Currently, the park is accepting reservations in person at the park or by phone. According to Park Ranger Shauna Bridgers, campsites are no longer available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
"Campsites are still available for drive-ins or non-reserved customers, but they must now check in at the park office and are only guaranteed one night if any spots are available," Bridgers said.
She said the park is only reserving 80 percent of its camping capacity at the present time until staff can better manage all the changes.
Perhaps the biggest change to the reservation process is the change in the camping rates. Bridgers said that under the old system, all taxes were included in the rate, but now the price will be "plus tax." This means 9.25 percent local sales tax, as well as a 5-percent county occupancy tax, will be an additional expense. Bridgers said the same-day, walk-in customers are excluded.
"This is a big change for state parks, but one that has long been needed," Bridgers said. "We are catching up with society; we know that's what the demand it out there."
There will be a statewide "1-800" number activated April 1 for more convenient registration opportunities. All state parks will be participating in the new system.