Drought in Oklahoma, Texas negatively impacting tourism

The Norman Transcript: It’s easy to separate the locals from the out-of-state visitors to Oklahoma and Texas this summer. The folks who head back into the air-conditioned cabins after about 15 minutes are not from around here.

Tourism officials told the Tulsa World the number of park visitors this year dropped to 1.4 million in June, down from 1.8 million visitors for the same month last year. July figures were not available, but we don’t expect higher numbers since we had higher temperatures throughout July.

Water offered some relief for campers but the water temperatures kept many from jumping in. Lake Texoma, for example, recorded a 90-degree water temperature in July. It’s tough on fish and the folks trying to catch them.

Low-water makes for tough boating, too. Sailboats with deep keels can’t go into some areas and trailered craft have trouble launching. Fewer visitors translate into less business for shops and restaurants that rely on the summer season to stay afloat.

Lodges

While visitation at state parks is down, revenue is not down comparably, the World reports. More people are leaving their tents and opting to stay in air-conditioned cabins and lodges, which means more revenue for the state.

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