State parks stay open by selling sponsorships
The state does have some criteria for what it will accept, limiting sponsorships to companies "with innovative and generous charitable programs," particularly ones that emphasize "environmental, historical and cultural awareness, healthful living, education and high-quality outdoor recreation."
Among the current companies that are "Proud Partners" of the state are
- Coca-Cola, in partnership with Stater Bros. Markets
- The American Chemistry Council
- Knudsen Creamery
- The Oakland Raiders professional football team
Among the ways that this partnership has taken shape:
- Coca-Cola/Stater Bros. Markets raised money to plant over a million trees.
- Subaru donated six Outbacks for park staff use.
- The Oakland Raiders promoted the state park system during home games.
- Knudsen Creamery raised $100,000 for the state park foundation.
None of the states has yet gone full Monty on selling sponsorships; there are no Budweiser Falls or Kendell Motor Oil's Salt Flats. Remember, though, that 50 years ago there were no stadiums named after corporations. Who knows -- Perhaps in the not-too-distant future, you might enjoy a vacation at WalletPop National Park, formerly known as Yosemite.