Managers plan to attract more visitors to Chehaw - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Managers plan to attract more visitors to Chehaw

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By Wainwright Jeffers - bio | email

December 5, 2008

THE PARKS AT CHEHAW, GA (WALB) - The Parks at Chehaw couldn't stay open without your tax money.

Managers there hope to change that and make the park more self-sufficient.

In the colder months, attracting visitors is more difficult, but Chehaw has some special things going on to try to get you through the gates.

Nancy Waters and her boyfriend stop at Chehaw's campground often, their camper is one of the few they've seen here the past few visits.

"We're surprised that it was quite empty, but we met some people that came through yesterday for the first time, the loved it," said Waters.

They like many others love the park, but when it gets cold fewer vehicles pass through these gates.

"Winter time is a big challenge for us because it's the holidays and people want to be with family," said Doug Porter, Chehaw Executive Director.

A first for the park this year is a skating rink, it's behind schedule but should open soon. They also have lights and even the animals are still out despite the cold.

"For most of our animals winter is a great time to see them because the weather is so cool and the tend to be more active, almost all our animals are out all year long," said Porter.

Train rides and visits with santa claus are also expected to be a big draw.

Right now the park gets 2/3 of its money from public funds, down the road they hope that will change.

"We earn a third with all the things that we do and we hope to be able to continue to grow the park so that percentage will be reversed," said Porter.

With the addition of disc golf this summer and more plans in the works, they hope the park will see more patrons.

Visitors like Nancy and her family want to see more people in the park, the next time they visits.

The ice rink at Chehaw was supposed to open this weekend.

Equipment problems forced the park to push back the opening at least until Monday.

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