Northern Michigan Outdoors: In less than six weeks, Northern Michigan outdoor enthusiasts can begin making state camping, lodging and harbor reservations for dates past Oct. 31, 2013. However, a sneak peek of the new Central Reservation System (CRS) website and the opportunity to create an online account – giving customers a leg up when that reservation window opens – will be available even sooner.

The new, improved CRS, which features customer-requested enhancements, manages Northern Michigan state park camping, Northern Michigan lodging and harbor reservations. From Oct. 22-24, the current CRS website,, will become unavailable as the new website is transitioned. The website address will remain the same.

The new website is scheduled to go live on Oct. 25. Although website reservations cannot be made until early November, guests can visit the new website on this date and experience all the updated features (including viewing photos of each individual Northern Michigan campsite and searching for campsite by region) and create their customer profiles. Current customer account information will not be transferred to the new system. This simple, time-saving step includes entering name, address, phone number, email and other pertinent contact information.

“Customers will have a unique opportunity to become comfortable with the new website prior to reservation windows even opening,” said Christa Sturtevant-Good, Department of Natural Resources (DNR) central reservation system liaison. “Since they can quickly set up their customer profiles ahead of time, they’ll be ready when the reservation windows do open. It’s our goal to create a seamless transition for our customers, and this experience is part of the process.”

If customers would rather not wait until Oct. 25 to experience the new website, Sturtevant-Good recommended viewing the Washington State Parks reservations website. This website, she explained, was created by the same contractor that administers the new Michigan CRS website and contains much of the same structure and many similar features and navigational components. The Michigan DNR Parks and Recreation Division has contracted with Camis USA, Inc., selected through a bidding process, to provide the reservation system.

Additional important transition dates include:

Oct. 22-31: Website reservations cannot be made. The call center will remain active through Oct. 30, taking reservations for dates through Oct. 31, 2013. The call center phone number, 1-800-44-PARKS, will remain unchanged. Oct. 31: Reservations cannot be made. State parks can register walk-ins on a first-come, first-served basis.
Nov. 1: The new CRS (both the website and the call center) opens to state park lodging, which typically has a one-year reservation window (camper cabins, mini-cabins, rustic cabins, yurts and modern lodges).
Nov. 3: The system opens to facilities with a six-month reservation window. These include campsites at state parks and select state forest campgrounds and harbor slips. From Nov. 1-2, campsites and slips are not reservable. During this time, campsites and slips are available at the facility on a first-come, first-served basis.
During the transition phase, updates and CRS-related press releases will be available on the DNR website and clicking on A New and Improved Campground Reservation System is Launching on November 1st.

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