Friday, September 18, 2009

Quick hits: Carnival to cruise out of Charleston all year long, and state park attendance has jumped in '09

Cruises to sail all year from Charleston
"South Carolina's tourism ship came in Thursday with the announcement that Carnival Cruise Line ships will sail from Charleston year-round, resulting in millions for the state and local economies," says the AP.

"Carnival Cruise Lines, a unit of Carnival Corp., announced it will homeport its 2,056-passenger Carnival Fantasy in Charleston beginning next May. The ship will make five-, six and seven-day voyages from South Carolina to the Bahamas and Key West, Fla.

" 'It's like a fantasy come true,' said state Sen. Larry Grooms, R-Bonneau, the chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, who said the decision will mean $70million in direct spending yearly for the Charleston economy. ..."

Note: This why N.C. should work harder and faster on a deep(er)-water port.

State Park attendance up in N.C.

"Attendance at North Carolina’s state parks has jumped significantly during 2009, with a third of the state parks and state recreation areas reporting visitation up at least 20 percent, according to the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation," said a DENR press release.

"Through August – the latest reporting period – the state parks recorded 10.6 million visitors, up 14 percent from a year ago and surpassing visitation during the same eight-month period of 2007, which was a record year for state parks visitation. The report includes 35 state parks and state recreation areas along with Weymouth Woods State Nature Preserve.

" 'Citizens in North Carolina traditionally have turned to state parks for affordable family recreation during difficult economic times, and these attendance numbers reflect that,' said Lewis Ledford, state parks director. 'Despite tight budgets and reduced staffs, the state parks have worked extra hard to maintain the facilities and the visitor experience so people can relax and enjoy the outdoors this year.' ..."

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