Washington State Parks took in more money than expected during the past two years.
State Parks has collected $141.7 million so far in the current 2021-23 biennium. That's $14 million, or 12%, more than the department anticipated. That’s according to a financial report delivered at a Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission meeting on Wednesday
Laura Holmes, Washington State Parks administrative services director, said the initial revenue projections were conservative. The excess $14 million was used on supplemental requests, according to her: $5 million for inflationary costs, $5 million for equipment and the remaining $4 million for park maintenance.
Discover Pass sales made up 37% of the $141.7 million in collected revenue, more than camping, roofed overnight accommodations, license renewal donations and other revenue streams.
According to the financial update, 41.1 million people visited Washington parks from July 2022 through June 2023. That is 1% more than the 40.8 million that visited in the 2022 fiscal year.
Initial results from July hint that collected revenue may continue to increase in the 2024 fiscal year. Last month, $9.9 million was reported collected, which is 7% more than what the department originally projected. Projections for August are nearly $12 million in generated revenue, and then a drop off until spring starts in March 2024.