Visitors increase at Stagecoach

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— Visits at Stagecoach State Park was up for 2000 and winter visitation is at the same level it was last winter.

In 2000, Stagecoach received 166,273 visits. Stagecoach State Park Manager Fred Bohlmann said that number is a 10 percent increase from the year before.

However, he said it is difficult to estimate the increase exactly because the park has kept better track of visitors in 2000 than it did in previous years.

Bohlmann looks at two major changes connected to the park to be the reason for the increase in visitors.

First, this summer the swim beach at Stagecoach Reservoir was upgraded and the improvements drew more swimmers than previous years.

"We got a lot of positive comments about that," he said.

Bohlmann said the beach averaged about 6-to-12 visitors a day before the improvements. Afterward, it was 20-to-25 people a day on the week days and 80-to-100 people on the weekends.

"The weather last summer helped, too," he said.

Second, the state park's Web page, which features up to date pictures of anglers and their big catches, drew people in. Upgrading and regularly updating the Web site was one of Bohlmann's goals when he was hired for the manager position in October of 1999.

"We clearly got some first hand information from the public about the page," he said.

Especially with the people ice fishing, he said. This year and last year the numbers of anglers digging holes in the ice has been strong, Bohlmann said.

To reach Doug Crowl call 871-4206 or e-mail dcrowl@steamboatpilot.com.

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