Director of South Carolina parks retires same way he started
BLACKSBURG, S.C. (AP) — The man who has run the state parks in South Carolina for 13 years is retiring.
Phil Gaines’ last day was Thursday. His bosses say he ended his career the same way he started it as a ranger in 1982 — weed eating, cleaning the bathrooms and taking out the trash at Kings Mountain State Park in Blacksburg.
South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Director Duane Parrish says Gaines was key in helping to change state parks into natural and cultural destinations.
State parks generate $27 million in revenue now, nearly paying for themselves. Parks were generating about $18 million a year when Gaines took over in 2005.
Gaines is leaving to work as a professor at Clemson University’s Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management School.