Efforts to bring private management to recreation in Arizona State Parks got a pretty nice write-up by Mark Duggan, which includes supportive comments from the model from Jay Zieman of Arizona State Parks. I have been talking to skeptical parties in and out of state parks about this idea for over a year. I think a big part of the breakthrough in understanding has been that private companies are not trying to take ownership of the land or even control how it is used — we are merely trying to run many of the mundane park operations.
In particular, I think this chart resonates with many of the folks I present it to who are concerned about privatization:
I make the case when presenting this chart that private companies are really only aspiring to perform the duties on the right, under strict supervision and controls. The state retains all the higher value-added duties on the left, as a minimum, and may under certain arrangements retain some roles on the right side. The opportunity for the public is that a huge percentage of the budget in state parks is spent on the right side, and private companies typically offer a minimum of 30% lower costs on these activities.