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Advance reservations accepted at Gee Creek
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Tennessee State Parks has unveiled its new customer-friendly campground reservation system.
– Tennessee State Parks has unveiled its new customer-friendly campground reservation system, offering visitors the ability to reserve campsites at 35 state parks, including nearby Gee Creek Campground part of Hiwassee State Scenic River and Ocoee River Recreation Area in Polk County, up to one year in advance of their planned stay.  Reservations can be made online, by visiting the park’s office, or by calling an individual park during regular business hours.  
 “Traditionally, campers have had to rely on obtaining their favorite camping spot on a first come, first served basis,” said Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau.  “With the new reservation service, visitors will be offered more ease and convenience when it comes to their park stay.”  
To check availability and reserve campsites online or via phone, visit www.tnstateparks.com/reservations for a complete list of available campgrounds and phone numbers or visit the online site directly at https://tnstateparks.itinio.com/.  Campers can select the state park they wish to visit, arrival/departure dates, and their preferred campsite.  Visitors may reserve up to five sites per reservation.  The online system features a campground map, offering photos and prices for each individual campsite.  Tennessee State Parks’ campsites are very popular, so campers are encouraged to check availability through the new online system or by calling the park before departing on a trip.  
 “Campers who enjoy using state park campsites have requested an advance reservations system for many years, as well as online capabilities,” added TDEC Deputy Commissioner Brock Hill.  “The implementation of this great, new system is just one of the many ways we are providing additional or upgraded services to our customers.  We wanted to make it easier for our visitors to make their plans, while adding an additional layer of customer-focused service for our guests.”  
Tennessee State Parks implemented the program using a phased approached, beginning in late 2012 to ensure the appropriate training could take place and any issues or concerns could be addressed before formally launching the new reservation system.   Over the course of the last several months, state parks have been gradually added to the roster.  The new campground reservation system joins several new initiatives launched by TDEC over the last two years for park visitors on the go, including the Tennessee State Parks 75th Anniversary microsite, a Geographic Information System (GIS)-based recreation “finder,” and the new Tennessee State Parks Pocket Ranger® mobile phone application.  
Hill added that online reservations for inns and some cabins have been available for visitors for several years, but adding the campground system was one that required a bit more effort in terms of program design and operations.  After a competitive bidding process, Arizona-based Rev’d Up, Inc. was selected to build and host the new campground reservation system and will continue overseeing the project as part of a five-year contract.  A minimal $3 reservation fee (per campsite reserved) was added as part of the overall implementation and will help offset costs of the new system. 
 “Charging fees for campsites is really an industry standard and are either identified as an actual reservation fee or the fee is absorbed in the overall costs of a particular campsite,” said Hill.  “Camping at Tennessee State Parks is still a bargain with prices for traditional campgrounds ranging from $14 for sites without electrical or water hookups to $25 for full hookups.”  
Tennessee’s 54 state parks and 82 state natural areas offer diverse natural, recreational and cultural experiences for individuals, families or business and professional groups.  State park features range from pristine natural areas to 18-hole championship golf courses.  For a free brochure about Tennessee State Parks, call toll free at 1-888-867-2757. For upcoming events at Tennessee State Parks, please visit the state parks website at www.tnstateparks.com.

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