DES MOINES - The new system for Iowa state park campsite, cabin and lodge reservations will debut Thursday at 7 a.m. central time at http://iowastateparks.reserveamerica.com. The system will require users to create a new account, unless the user had an account on the national website, Reserve America.
The previous system was shut down on Feb. 3 in order to make the switch. All reservations made for 2011 under the old system have been transferred to the new system.
"Our customers will notice a few differences. We worked pretty aggressively to get this new system ready to take Memorial Day weekend reservations so there will be some added features coming later," said Sherry Arntzen, with the DNR's state parks bureau. "If a customer needs to change a reservation this year, or if they need to cancel a reservation on the day they were scheduled to arrive, they will need to go through the call center. For this year, making changes through the call center will be assessed the lower $5 online change fee rather than the higher phone center fee."
The call center has the same number, 1-877-427-2757, and will operate from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. central time, from Monday through Friday, and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The call center will be closed on New Year's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. Once the online system is running, it will be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to make reservations.
The three month window for the Memorial Day weekend for a Friday arrival is February 27.
"I would recommend that users who want to make a reservation for Memorial Day weekend get familiar with the new system and set up their account before the time comes to book a campsite," Arntzen said. "One change with the new system is that if one person makes reservations for multiple people, they will need to have addresses for the individuals on the site."
Customers who have bookmarked the previous reservation system website will be redirected to the new site.