February 22, 1998
It's again possible to reserve tours at Hearst Castle, and, starting next month, the National Park Service's toll-free reservation lines will be back in business. Both services had been suspended since late last year after Destinet Service Corp. of San Diego, which handled the phones for the state and national park systems, declared bankruptcy. But in late January the state parks' reservation line for campsites (telephone  444-PARK), now handled by Park.Net, began operating again.
January 28, 1998 |
The state parks system will begin accepting reservations for campsites today, four weeks after the bankruptcy of a private company forced the sudden shutdown of the service. State officials said vacationers will be able to reserve campsites as much as seven months in advance by calling a toll-free reservation hotline at (800) 444-PARK. But they said tours of Hearst Castle and Ano Nuevo State Reserve will not be subject to reservations at this time.
January 4, 1998
With the continuing squeeze on state and federal park budgets, government officials have increasingly turned to private contractors for functions once performed by public employees. Gov. Pete Wilson, for instance, has pushed privatization of a variety of once-public chores in California. Against that backdrop stands the state park system's sobering experience with Destinet Service Corp. This is shaping up as a cautionary tale about the downside of privatization.
December 23, 1997 |
Just as thousands of would-be vacationers will be seeking reservations for a tour of Hearst Castle or a choice spot at a state campground, the California Parks Department has been forced to shut down its reservation system. Park officials said the bankruptcy of the contractor who provides the reservation service has left it without adequate resources to handle about 50,000 callers who will be trying to get summer reservations in January. "We aren't making any advance reservations for a while.
June 28, 1998 |
Summertime, and the campgrounds are teeming. But for thousands of families, a busy campground still beats the heck out of home, and so the struggle is on to secure reservations at California's most popular state and national park facilities.