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Campgrounds will be packed Memorial Day weekend, says Oklahoma Tourism

Posted at 4:15 PM, May 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-22 17:22:24-04

KEYSTONE LAKE, Okla. — This Memorial Day weekend, lakeside businesses are hoping for record turnouts as families look to get outside and go camping and boating.

A successful weekend would be a much different story from 2019, especially for businesses along Keystone Lake. Many were closed by that point due to flooding, and several of those that were open saw low turnouts.

This year, businesses like Keystone Harbor Marina began seeing increased turnouts as early as February, and are already setting personal bests.

"As soon as things started opening back near to normal, we had a record Saturday, and just last week we had a record Sunday," owner Ron Howell said. "We are amazed, those have beaten our Fourth of July when everybody’s out.”

Howell says the turnout is because of two key factors: families are making up for a lost 2019 season, and are seizing a way to get outside while social distancing.

"Demand for the campsites is incredible,” Howell said. "We’re booked all the way pretty much through the end of May and into the beginning of June.“

Tourism to campsites is up across Oklahoma, which is helping many lakeside businesses recover from losing Memorial Day and Fourth of July to flooding in 2019.

"Memorial Day weekend is a huge weekend for Oklahoma state parks, and this year will be no exception," said Leslie Blair with Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation. "Already we are seeing most parks and lodges and cabins at full capacity.”

For those businesses, a successful "unofficial start of summer" would no doubt set a positive tone for the rest of the season.

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