Release Date

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, JAN. 11, 2023 – Beginning this year, ExplorUS, formally Ortega National Parks, will manage the lodging, dining, retail and banquet facilities at the Echo Bluff State Park. ExplorUS is a hospitality management company operating in parks across the country.

Echo Bluff was established more than 85 years ago as a summer youth camp called Camp Zoe. It is now a year-round outdoor destination where visitors create memories as they experience all the Ozarks have to offer. The impressive lodge is just five years old and features hotel rooms and cabins, meeting space, a dining room and retail area.

ExplorUS is thrilled to add Echo Bluff to its portfolio and has committed to adding new activities and events, such as girls’ getaways, stargazing, art and craft shows, and more. 

“We can’t wait to start working at Echo Bluff,” said Frank Pikus, CEO of ExplorUS. “Our team is excited to start developing new programs that will interest Missouri patrons and draw new travelers to the area. We are especially happy that many of the previous employees have chosen to stay with us, which should assist with a smooth transition for those folks that frequent the hotel and restaurant on an annual basis.”

“We’d like to thank Guest Services for their time working at Echo Bluff,” said David Kelly, director of the Division of Missouri State Parks. “We are excited to work with ExplorUS and look forward to the new opportunities they will offer our guests.”

ExplorUS is dedicated to preserving and protecting the unique environments and precious resources of the sites where it operates, allowing guests and future generations to experience the beauty, serenity and splendor of local, state and national parks. It provides concession services at 50 locations nationwide, including four other Missouri State parks: Lake of the Ozarks, Montauk, Sam A. Baker and Lake Wappapello. You can find out more about ExplorUS at

Rooms and cabins are available for rent year-round. More information can be found at or by calling 855-999-6980.

For more information on state parks and historic sites, visit Missouri State Parks is a division of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

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