High gas prices hold vacationers closer to home

FRANKLIN COUNTY, IL (KFVS) - It's that time of year again.  The time for family vacations to the beach, Yellow Stone National Park, Disney World, or other big destinations.  But for many people we talked to today say they are staying closer to home and used the word "Staycation."

The reason many told us for the closer to home vacations: high gas prices.

In Franklin County Illinois the Ragan family visited the South Marcum Beach at Rend Lake to swim and build sand castles.

"There's a lot of places around here," says James Ragan of West Frankfort. "Like yesterday we were out at Kinkaid Lake out there swimming and had a good time, so we decided to come out here and have a good time today."

At the Wayne Fitzgerald State Park some traditional campers are leaving their big RVs and camper homes parked in the driveway all because of high gas prices.

"The price of gas is way too high," says avid camper Cynthia Jaegers of Bonnie. "I just filled up the truck and it was $39 and that was just half a tank, that's too much money. And there's plenty of places around here where you can go have a lot of fun."

Jaegers and her husband say the big rig camper will stay parked until gas prices go down.

Jaegers said, "If gas prices come down, we're adventurous, we'd go, but there's no sense in paying that much money when you can have just as much fun here."

According to the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, tourism in the Land of Lincoln went up 5% in 2010.

Last year Chicago was the State's tourism engine by attracting 38.1 million visitors out of the 84.7 million people who came to Illinois on vacation.

The state of Illinois generated $29.3 billion in tourism last year and that is $2.2 more than 2009.

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