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      Gov. Heineman Announces Plan for State Parks to Increase Tourism

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      Gov. Dave Heineman has outlined a plan to make improvements in two of Nebraska's state parks in order to increase tourism.

      The governor's plan involves a $1.7 million investment towards improvements and expansion of Mahoney State Park in eastern Nebraska and Lake McCounaughy State Recreation Area in western Nebraska.

      Heineman said, "Tourism is important to Nebraska, and these strategicinvestments will help meet the current demands at two of our outstanding,popular state parks."

      In 2010, nearly 1million people visited Lake McConaughy State Recreation Area, generating morethan $44 million in retail sales. With all trip related expendituresfactored in, the yearly economic impact of Lake McConaughy is more than $73million. This economic activity supports 950 jobs.

      McConaughy StateRecreation Area will be receiving improvements to Lone Eagle and Cedar Vuecampgrounds.

      At Lone Eagle, campers will enjoy full service capabilitiesat 84 sites that provide water and sewage hook-ups, in addition to 50 ampelectrical hook-ups. The project will also allow upgrades to the Cedar Vuecampground providing 20 full service sites, 40 electrical sites, and newequestrian friendly accommodations at 35 of the 60 sites.

      In 2010, more than 1million people visited Mahoney State Park, generating more than $52 million inretail sales. When all trip related expenditures are factored in, the yearlyeconomic impact of Mahoney State Park is nearly $87 million. The economicactivity from just this park supports more than 800 jobs.

      Funding for Mahoney State Park will goto expanding deluxe cabins, of which there is a significant demand. Theluxurious six bedroom cabins are modern full service units, which sleep twelve and have three full bathrooms. The cabins also sport a great room with awood burning fireplace, fully equipped kitchen and dining and a deck offeringscenic views.

      The funding for this plan is included in the governor's proposed beinnium budget.

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