New Bill Would Make Leasing Of Alabama Lodging, Golf Possible

Mar 13, 2013

A map of the state parks and resorts in Alabama.
Credit / Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

A Senate committee has sent a bill to the floor that could allow private operators to lease lodging facilities and golf courses within 12 state parks.

The Senate Finance and Taxation-General Fund Committee approved the bill 8-2 Wednesday.

It would allow the Department of Conservation to generate and control the leases. State parks are supported by visitor fees. While some parks pay for themselves, others lose millions of dollars each year. Supporters say the bill could turn those numbers around.

Director of Alabama State Parks Greg Lein questioned the impact on the 600 park employees. Under the proposed legislation, Lein's department would be able to request proposals, surety bonds and other terms from potential vendors. That could cover employees.

Democratic Sens. Billy Beasley and Bobby Singleton opposed the measure.