- Associated Press - Saturday, February 17, 2018

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey’s administration is seeking to add rental cabins and camping sites to a state park north of Tucson through a $4 million makeover.

The proposal in the Republican governor’s executive budget would allocate funding from the State Parks Revenue Fund to upgrade Oracle State Park, which is currently open only for day use, the Arizona Daily Star reported this month.

Officials are expecting the upgrades to increase the park’s annual revenue by $1.2 million. The 4,000-acre park currently operates at a net annual deficit of $286,000, according to state budget documents.

The upgrades would include adding 30 recreational vehicle sites, 20 cabins and 20 tent sites, said Patrick Ptak, the governor’s office spokesman.

“The cabins will be rustic and they will complement the history and nature of the park,” Ptak said. “The pricing has not been determined.”

The upgraded park located near the community of Oracle would also provide relief to Catalina State Park, a Tucson-area park that often has to turn away many would-be campers during peak seasons, Ptak said.

Under the proposal, more hiking and biking trails would be added and historic cabins would be restored.

“The cabin program really opens up the demographics for people who want to experience the outdoors,” said Sue Black, director of Arizona State Parks and Trails. “If they don’t want to stay in a tent or don’t have an RV, this opens up another opportunity.”

If the state Legislature approves the funding, Arizona State Parks and Trails will start the design process, Ptak said. Development inside the park is limited to no more than 10 percent of its acreage. Ptak said the design will aim to match the history and scenery of the park.

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Information from: Arizona Daily Star, http://www.tucson.com


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