By BRUCE SMITH
CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina's state parks are on target to become self-supporting after a year in which they generated a record $21 million in revenue.
Parks Recreation and Tourism Director Duane Parrish says the goal now is to have the parks self-sustaining in just over 18 months, by July 1, 2014.
Parrish says the parks have made their rates more competitive and are staging events like last July 4th's fireworks at Charles Towne Landing in Charleston that are bringing in more visitors. Revenues for the fiscal year that ended last June were about $1 million above the previous year.
The state's 47 parks need to generate about $3 million in additional revenue to become self-sustaining.
Parrish says only state park systems in New Hampshire and Vermont currently pay their own way.