Custer State Park had its best camping season ever last year, but Craig Pugsley, Custer State Park Visitor Services Coordinator, says this year has already topped last year for visitation numbers and camping licenses.
The park has nine campgrounds and 370 campsites. Pugsley says at this time in the season, they are 100% full.
Such a popular place means people fight for spots and for years, campers had to call the park on opening day, January 2, to make a reservation. "You can imagine all the calls," said Pugsley. "There's no call center in the world that could handle the number of calls."
But now, Pugsley says a new system is in place that lets people call at any time to make a reservation for the following year. "Divides those calls out throughout the year which is really a benefit to the visitors and the state park system," said Pugsley.
Pugsley added that the park is trying to extend tourism by keeping open a campsite outside the normal season, so a limited number of sites are available mid-March through December.