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Va. state parks set visitor, overnight stay records

Friday - 1/11/2013, 4:05am  ET

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia state parks saw more visitors in 2012 than ever before.

The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation says the nearly 8.4 million visitors was a 7 percent increase over 2011. It broke the nearly 8.1 million visitor record set in 2010.

A record number of those visitors stayed the night, as well. More than 1.1 million visitors spent the night in one of 35 state parks last year, breaking the record set in 2011.

First Landing State Park remains the most visited state park with more than 1.5 million visitors.

Department Director David Johnson says the parks employ more than 2,000 people and had an economic impact of $198 million last year.

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