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JEFFERSON CITY, MO, DEC. 29, 2021 – Ortega National Parks, a hospitality management company operating in parks across the country, will manage lodging, food service, retail and watercraft rental operations in Sam A. Baker State Park for Missouri State Parks beginning this spring. 

Covering more than 5,000 acres in the southeastern Missouri Ozarks region, Sam A. Baker State Park features an unspoiled natural landscape and the cool waters of the St. Francis River and Big Creek, offering something for everyone to enjoy. Each year, the park welcomes more than 600,000 visitors, many of them anglers, kayakers and canoeists. The park also contains 34 miles of hiking, backpacking, bicycling and equestrian trails.

“Visiting Sam A. Baker State Park, and particularly renting cabins there, is a time-honored family tradition for many,” said Frank Pikus, chief executive officer of Ortega National Parks. “We plan to deliver a quality hospitality experience for those who have been frequenting the park for generations as well as guests visiting for the first time.” 

“We are looking forward to expanding our partnership with Ortega National Parks at Sam A. Baker State Park,” said David Kelly, director of the Division of Missouri State Parks. “Their services will offer a variety of amenities at the park and provide visitors with a state park experience filled with great memories.”

Ortega National Parks will operate the rental of cabins, including the newly converted family cabin, the Mudlick Mountain Grill, the Mudlick Mountain Store and watercraft rentals in the park. 

“We are thrilled to partner with State Parks at a third Missouri State Park. Sam A. Baker is a hidden gem, and our team is working hard to ensure that our operations there will enhance visitors’ experience,” said Pikus. A new online reservations system, updating the interior of the historic cabins, providing more boat rentals, and adding bike rentals and golf carts are among the many improvements Pikus says guests can expect in the coming season.

Pikus also thanked Mike and Jody Fleming, the current concessioners who are retiring, for their many years of service to the park. “They have been fantastic to work with to create a seamless transition for the 2022 season,” said Pikus.

Ortega National Parks 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 19 locations nationwide including two other Missouri State Parks, Lake of the Ozarks and Montauk. You can find out more about Ortega National Parks at

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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