Tourism launches campaign highlighing state parks

In collaboration with Arizona State Parks and Arizona Trail Association, AOT is launching a new in-state campaign to highlight the amazing discoveries, signature beauty, and vibrant outdoor adventures that are all “Just Feet Away.”  Arizona Passages is an integrated campaign that energizes our brand promise by creating unique southwest moments for our in-state residents.  It addresses potential budget concerns for summer travel by encouraging new discoveries and adventure that are easily accessible.  It features outdoor adventures throughout the state, but also encompasses the experiences that highlight the rural charm and beauty of our cities and towns outside of the major metropolitan areas.

The call to Arizona residents to plan their adventure will be in print, radio, online, mall advertising, billboards, and much more that direct consumers to  This dynamic Web site is a true blend of AOT’s commitment to cutting-edge technology by providing itineraries, downloadable maps, meet-up groups, expert and peer recommendations, as well as information on all State Parks, and the Arizona Trail to give travelers the tools they need to explore Arizona.

Slideshow of Arizona State Parks across our state

From pine-scented forests to awe-inspiring desert vistas, there is something for everyone at Arizona State Parks.  ASP’s 27 parks include conservation, recreation, and historic sites throughout the entire state.  Hike, fish, and camp under the stars.  Visit one of the historic parks and walk in the footsteps of cultures past, or come learn about nature and the diverse Arizona ecosystem.

Funding cuts imperil marina plan

[Source: John Rudolf, Lake Havasu News-Herald] — A move by the deficit-challenged state legislature to sweep millions of dollars from the State Parks department could imperil a plan to build a new marina at Contact Point.  “I would not be candid if I did not say I was not nervous,” said Bill Porter, a volunteer member of the Arizona State Parks board, and a key supporter of the marina project.  “It’s at a critical point.” [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Starving our parks (Arizona Republic editorial)

[Source: Arizona Republic] — Watch out!  Falling plaster!  Arizona’s state parks are literally crumbling.  Chunks of plaster are coming off the walls at Douglas Mansion in Jerome.  Parts of the sidewalk around the historic building are closed off to protect the public.

The Legislature slashed park spending and raided the capital funds in the budget crisis of 2002.  The money wasn’t restored when revenues were rolling in.  Arizona State Parks, with jewels that range from the underground wonders of Kartchner Caverns to the scenic and recreational pleasures of Picacho Peak, has an operating budget of $26 million — about $4 per Arizonan.  Now, with the state facing a massive shortfall, the legislative budget proposal would slash park spending further.

On top of that, there’s a breathtakingly illogical proposal to cut park fees.  Senate Bill 1458 would shrink the cost of an annual pass by 20 percent for Arizona residents.  It passed the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Rural Affairs on a 4-3 vote.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]