HAMPTON — New Hampshire State Parks has a new lottery for its RV spaces at Hampton Beach, hoping to make it easier for campers to land those coveted reservations.
Lottery winners this year will be able to book one of five spaces in 2020 at Hampton Beach, which State Parks spokesman Brent Wucher said are booked a year in advance. The lottery, a pilot program, was also created for Ellacoya State Park in Gilford. It open for applications Monday and will run through Oct. 11.
"We're always 100% booked there," Wucher said. "We looked at (the lottery) as a way of, 'How can we make opportunities, create opportunities for our campers?"
The 28 spaces at Hampton Beach cost $50 a day to rent with a $5.60 application fee on top. They come with full hook-up to water, sewer and electricity and overlook the ocean and the Hampton River.
Wucher said many people who frequently book the spaces prepare for the moment applications open, beating out other campers who quickly lose their chance. He said state parks officials looked at what the National Park Service has done to address high demand in its most popular parks. They found lotteries have been used at Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska, as well as the Grand Canyon for its river rafting.
"This is the way the national parks has dealt with sites being always full," Wucher said.
Lottery winners will be randomly chosen in November and notified shortly after. Wucher said the new program has received positive feedback from campers, and if it does well, he said it will be expanded it to other parks.
"We're just trying to get a feel, and we're judging by our customers' reactions," he said. "So far the reactions have been really well accepted."