People Make the Parks... and that’s a fact!No matter how you look at it, Florida’s award-winning state parks are big business. Last year, they attracted 28 million visitors and had a $2.4 billion direct economic impact on the state. The parks supported 33,587 jobs statewide and generated $158 million in annual Florida sales tax revenue.
These would be very impressive figures if this was a private sector company – it is even more remarkable when you consider that this is a state-run organization within the Department of Environmental Protection.
The Florida Park Service has two things going for it that makes it special. The first thing is financial. It is operated very professionally and successfully as if it were a big business, which is exactly what it is. The FPS is around 80 percent self-sufficient, a figure that most other state park systems nationwide would be envious of.
The second thing is all the people who are associated with the parks and make them so great. Eric Draper, Florida State Park Director, loves to... READ MORE