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Florida State Park Reservation window changes

JoeH
Explorer III
Explorer III
The Governor has approved HB 109, this bill allows Florida residents to reserve state park campsites 11 months in advance, non- residents 10 months. It goes into effect Jan 1, 2024.
Joe
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16 REPLIES 16

GTO66
Explorer
Explorer
Snowbirds will still be able to camp in state parks if they wish,they just won't be able to lock up sites for 14 days than move to another state park for another 14 days and repeat throughout the season. I've lived in Florida for 60 years and have never been able to camp at bahia Honda. I also don't believe it will have a large impact on tourist visiting Florida. It may help inland parks stay full as the popular keys and coastal parks will still be near capacity....

JoeH
Explorer III
Explorer III
To put it in perspective, there are about 2000 campsites in all of Florida State parks. Letting residents have access to these isn't going to kill the tourist economy. Disney's Ft. Wilderness alone has nearly the capacity (1500 sites and cabins) as the entire state park system. Oh, Disney has well over 20,000 rooms just on their property..... add an order or 2 of magnitude to that just for the Orlando area. State parks do not drive the tourist economy in Florida.
Joe
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johnhicks
Explorer
Explorer
Locals will grab every weekend anyway, so this just gives them a month head start. That will surely shut out anyone who would like to stay more than five days at a time.
-jbh-

Dutch_12078
Explorer
Explorer
We already have our GA and FL state park reservations in place for Jan, Feb, and Mar '24, but this will likely move us out of FL to GA only for '25 on. I really don't see where there was a need for the law, since we typically see at least 50% of the sites filled by FL plates anyway in the winter. We really don't mind spending our money where it's more appreciated though.
Dutch
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Lantley
Traveler
Traveler
CWilson wrote:
Lantley wrote:
Keeping people out of the CG's and making life hard on Disney is not good policy for a state where tourism is its number one industry.


This policy is not going keep people out of campgrounds. There are more than enough year round Florida residents to fill them. Year round Florida residents who have been pulling their hair out for years trying to get reservations in their own park system, that are hoarded and gamed by Snowbirds. I think its a step in the right direction and would like to see other state park systems adopt such policies.

As far as Disney, who cares. Its the most overated and overpriced attraction in the Orlando area. It's great however if you like spending $150.00 for lunch for a family of 4 and standing in lines for hours a day.


bucky wrote:
That about kills our winter visits to FL. It's been fun while it lasted.
TX here we come.


Hasta luego y buena suerte.


You don't get it. Those tourism and Disney Dollars are what keeps Florida's economy moving.
Disney is not the money generating machine because of the locals.
Disney is a nationwide and world wide destination. Keeping those dollars out of Florida cannot be good for the local economy or local jobs.
It may take time but eventually someone will figure it out when the lack of visitors shows up on the bottom line.
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Lantley
Traveler
Traveler
GTO66 wrote:
I'll take what I can get but wish they would address the cancelation policy which would stop most of the abuse... Increase the cost to cancel to fifty percent of the reservation fee and require the whole reservation to be canceled....

This is a step in the right direction.
Here in Maryland, PA and DE it's tough if not impossible to get a spot unless you plan 6-8 months out and we are not a big tourism state.
However drive through the Parks and you'll see empty sites.
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GTO66
Explorer
Explorer
I'll take what I can get but wish they would address the cancelation policy which would stop most of the abuse... Increase the cost to cancel to fifty percent of the reservation fee and require the whole reservation to be canceled....

CWilson
Explorer
Explorer
Lantley wrote:
Keeping people out of the CG's and making life hard on Disney is not good policy for a state where tourism is its number one industry.


This policy is not going keep people out of campgrounds. There are more than enough year round Florida residents to fill them. Year round Florida residents who have been pulling their hair out for years trying to get reservations in their own park system, that are hoarded and gamed by Snowbirds. I think its a step in the right direction and would like to see other state park systems adopt such policies.

As far as Disney, who cares. Its the most overated and overpriced attraction in the Orlando area. It's great however if you like spending $150.00 for lunch for a family of 4 and standing in lines for hours a day.


bucky wrote:
That about kills our winter visits to FL. It's been fun while it lasted.
TX here we come.


Hasta luego y buena suerte.

bucky
Explorer II
Explorer II
That about kills our winter visits to FL. It's been fun while it lasted.
TX here we come.
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toedtoes
Explorer II
Explorer II
Maybe the best thing is to let it happen and see how it goes. If the state ends up losing major tourism dollars, they'll change it back. If they don't lose tourism dollars, then they'll keep it.
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monkey44
Traveler
Traveler
A month lead time is probably the best the state can do, under the circumstances. We locals need a pocket of time for local camping reservation. But, a lot of our revenue to support the parks and part of our economy depends on snowbirds and tourists.

We are local too, and when myself or me and wife need/want a day or so in a vacant site in FCG we can usually find it. It's the extended two weeks in a row that's tough. So, we just split up our time when it's available and pop over for a day or two when we can get it. We live here, we don't need two weeks - and we're retired as well, so pretty flexible with dates.

I suspect this will make it easier for a family, or working folks to reserve and enjoy sometimes in nature.... Hope it works out for all that want it. 🙂
Monkey44
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Lantley
Traveler
Traveler
Keeping people out of the CG's and making life hard on Disney is not good policy for a state where tourism is its number one industry.
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Martyn
Traveler
Traveler
nickthehunter wrote:
Snowbirds don’t stay at Fla. state parks, the max length of stay is 14 days. Nothing wrong with giving priority to the people that pay your salary and benefits.


Oh, but they do!

We camp in a FL State Park at least once a month and there are always snowbirds in many sites. Most say they book for 14 days and then move on to another SP. Many don't mind moving every 2 weeks.

Arrived home today from St George Island State Park and at least 50% of plates were from northern states.
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cptqueeg
Explorer II
Explorer II
Older thread on FL SP reservation change
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nickthehunter
Traveler II
Traveler II
Snowbirds don’t stay at Fla. state parks, the max length of stay is 14 days. Nothing wrong with giving priority to the people that pay your salary and benefits.