MARSHALL CO., Ala. (WHNT) — Some state parks across Alabama are planned for updates designed to boost their respective area’s economies.
State Representative Wes Long is one of the 12 lawmakers that make up the Joint Legislative Committee on State Parks. Marshall County boasts three state parks. Representative Long says that’s the most in the state in one county.
He says the recent plans to add new features to some state parks will directly affect that entire area. “On the resort state parks and some of the other parks that have good sloping natural demographics, we’re trying to do ecotourism, create an environment to bring those tourists in,” Representative Long says.
One major feature to be added is zip lines. “The announcement of zip lines, which they already have one at the Gulf State park, it’s huge for Lake Guntersville, Marshall County, because it has one of the best demographics for a zip line course or a canopy course,” Representative Long says.
Other features in the works include mountain bike trails, obstacle courses for races and courses for a triathlon.
The zip line plans for Lake Guntersville State park are set. Lawmakers plan on putting them in without pulling from taxpayer’s wallets. “That’ll be bid out to a private contractor, they’ll actually build the course, and the state park and the state will share in the revenue,” Representative Long says, “So it doesn’t cost taxpayers any money.”
The reason behind the additions across the state is to bring in more people from more areas. “We just need something to bring them here. Bring the tourists in,” Representative Long says, “We figure this one is no cost to the state to give it a try.”
Representative Long says bringing people to the parks will bring money into Marshall County and help boost the economy. Because of the layout and the lodgings Lake Guntersville State park boasts it was ideal for the additions.
Lawmakers are discussing plans for the additional parks in the county as well.
Representative Long says they are taking bids for the zip lines at Lake Guntersville State Park, and they expect the courses to be in place and running in about a year.