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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,043

    Exclamation Massive National Park Fee Hike Proposed

    America's National Parks have always been a great value, but a gigantic fee hike is being proposed that would create a "peak season" entry fee at 17 National Parks with a price set at $70!

    That fee is double the current entry fee at most of the affected parks: Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Denali, Glacier, Grand Canyon, Grand Teton, Olympic, Sequoia & Kings Canyon, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Zion, Acadia, Mount Rainier, Rocky Mountain, Shenandoah, and Joshua Tree National Park.

    If approved, the increased fees will start in 2018.

    The early reaction to this fee hike has been predictably negative, and the website to comment on this fee hike appears to have crashed!

    It's also worth noting, the proposed fee hike comes just 3 years after the entry fees at many of these parks was increased. The cost of the the Senior National Parks Pass was raised this past summer, but somewhat bizarrely, there are not yet plans to change the price of the National Parks Annual pass, which currently costs $80, is valid for a full year at every National Park that charges an entry fee. Needless to say, if the fee increase goes through, buying the annual pass will become an obvious choice for anyone who thinks there is even a chance they will visit a second national park over the course of a year.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,531

    Default

    I went to the national park website and also noticed that the commentary site had crashed. Perhaps that should tell them that they aren't going to get much support for this rate hike. I'm not really thrilled with the Senior Pass rate hike (which actually goes up 11/1, I think), as I'm still not quite of age to purchase that pass. I am concerned about how much the annual pass will go up, if at all. Right now, if it's not being considered for a rate hike, it's definitely a bargain if you're going to any of the "big name" parks.

    On a slightly different note, though, the theme parks, particularly Disney and Universal Studios, have also done rate hikes in recent years. There have been a number of articles posted online about how these rate hikes have priced middle-class families right out of a Disney vacation. My husband and I commented that our trip to WDW FL, 5 years ago, would have been the ONLY thing on that vacation if we'd not had tickets and hotel severely discounted by his military status (retired). At the time, we picked up a 4-day park hopper military ticket for the price of a 1-day park hopper, and our hotel was about half price. (We didn't bother with the dining plan.)


    Donna

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,253

    Default

    I'm not really thrilled with the Senior Pass rate hike (which actually goes up 11/1, I think)
    The Senior Pass went up to $80 on August 28.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,347

    Default Still the Deal of a Lifetime

    The big advantage of the Senior Pass is that it's good for the rest of your life. Still, a hike from $10 to $80 is a bit steep.

    AZBuck

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,043

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck View Post
    The big advantage of the Senior Pass is that it's good for the rest of your life. Still, a hike from $10 to $80 is a bit steep.
    I agree it's still a good deal, still anytime you raise the price of something by 800%, you're doing something wrong. I think it's even worse because they bungled that part of it badly too. My dad just turned 62 this year, and he tried to get one over the summer before the price went up, and essentially couldn't. My parents went to the closest National Monument near their house, and were told they were out of them and didn't know if or when they would be getting more. They were told they could try a nearby Fish and Wildlife Refuge office, but when they got there, it was the same thing - they were out of them, and probably wouldn't be getting more until well after the price went up. In the end, they had to order one online, which of course came with an extra $10 processing fee, but still less than they'd have to pay after the price hike.

    It's really quite similar with this new proposed $70 fee, it's just not well thought out. At several of these parks, like Canyonlands for example, over the course of less than 3 years the price will have gone from $10 to $70. I suppose $70 for a family of 4 isn't a bad deal, but $70 for an individual is very steep. If they are going to raise it that high, then they really need to consider adding an option that's for individuals, not just by the car.

    I have to assume that in the near future the $80 Annual Pass will also be jumping up in price - particularly since you have to figure the sales of the pass are going to dramatically increase when it's barely more than the cost of visiting just one park. Based on these trends, you have to wonder how much that's going to be. If they raised the price to $100, that would certainly be reasonable, especially considering the cost hasn't gone up in 10 years or so, but based on this trend of more than doubling the costs of things, will they try to raise it to $200 or even more?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,055

    Default Bad policy

    I think it IS intended to be exclusionary. And it will certainly reduce the interest in citizens to visit their national parks.

    I think this proposed fee hike is reminiscent of other discriminatory practices consistent with the executive branch of late.

    Mark

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,935

    Default Whatever it costs, it is money well spent.

    No matter what the price of the new annual pass, at least the money is not going to offshore tax havens via millionaires.

    I don't have a problem paying whatever it is, knowing the money is for the parks, albeit via general revenue. But I will never pay an entry fee to anything, kinowing the money goes into the pockets of those who don't need it, and who often pay little to those who work for them to

    Lifey

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,043

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lifemagician View Post
    No matter what the price of the new annual pass, at least the money is not going to offshore tax havens via millionaires.
    Not to get too far into the political weeds, but considering the fee increase would offset some of the major cuts in funding the NPS is facing, and where that government money is now being spent instead, it's not a stretch at all to say the money is going to exactly those people.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Posts
    162

    Default

    The funding cuts to our National Parks are most certainly political in nature, and they leave park service managers in a very difficult position. I'm sure that among the people who read this forum, our national parks should get the highest possible priority where government spending is concerned--but our "elected representatives" obviously didn't ask the likes of us when they made those decisions. Without adequate government subsidy, there aren't many options: cut staff, cut services, defer maintenance, or raise fees. The latter is obviously the lesser evil, and the parks are still a bargain. Even at the significantly higher price, entrance fees are a drop in the bucket when weighed against the other costs of travel. This whole issue is merely a symptom of some much larger problems, and there simply aren't any easy answers.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,531

    Default

    Arches may institute a reservation system just to enter the park -- read on:

    So you want to visit Arches NP -


    Donna

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