The cold, snowy winter and (especially) the cool, rainy spring has thus far doomed overnight stays at Ohio state parks.
And with rain forecasted for at least two of the three Memorial Day weekend, don't expect to see many "no vacancy" signs up at state park campgrounds. This, based on figures supplied by the state.
The 2011 do-date campground occupancy stands at 22,585 nights used, a measurement tool employed by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Parks and Recreation to determine how many nights of camping have been rented.
That figure represents a 40.5 percent drop for the same period in 2010.
It's a also a crash-and-burn dive from the 39,693 nights used that was seen in 2009 for the same period.
Likewise, this year's to-day nights stay usage is the lowest since at least 2006 and with a total occupancy rate of only 5.6 percent.
Off as well are cottage rentals (down 8.4 percent) and get-away rentals (down 18.9 percent.)
- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn