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Chico
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PostTue Oct 24, 2017 1:04 pm 
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theolympian.com

"A visit to see Mount Rainier’s wildflowers or Olympic National Park’s Hoh Rain Forest might set you back $70 in 2018." High use months (summer).

Open for comments at parkplanning.nps.gov
Comment period closes Nov 23, 2017 at 11:59 PM Mountain Time

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mbravenboer
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PostTue Oct 24, 2017 1:19 pm 
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That seems like a pretty dumb plan:

  1. Why only peak months? That only makes sense if they actually think this will discourage people from visiting. Even if this would actually happen, it is unfair to raise prices to a level where poor people need to stay at home. Preservation and National Parks needs the support from the entire population.
  2. The fee would be ridiculously close the America the Beautiful Pass.
If they need more funding, then this needs to become a political issue and funded differently, or raise fees across the board, including the America the Beautiful Pass.
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MyFootHurts
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PostTue Oct 24, 2017 3:03 pm 
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And since the annual pass is still $80 I'm ok with this.

Anyhoo, several people on this forum said that the new sec. of the Interior was going to sell MNRP to corporate interests.
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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostTue Oct 24, 2017 3:52 pm 
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That is a completely ludicrous fee increase.  Yeah, as mentioned above if this actually happens, you'd be insane to not just get the America the Beautiful pass for almost the same amount as a 1 time only entrance fee (actually a good savings--$30 for National Forest and $50 for National Park--unless they jack up the price on this too).  Just plain stupid.  I think NP visitations would plummet if they go through with this.  Let's just close the National Parks, that should save the Federal Government millions.
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thunderhead
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PostTue Oct 24, 2017 5:26 pm 
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The most popular parks are pretty overcrowded on peak days, so if they can cut down on that some, i might be be for it, but trippling the fees seems a bit steep.
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christensent
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PostTue Oct 24, 2017 6:16 pm 
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olderthanIusedtobe wrote:
I think NP visitations would plummet if they go through with this. 

I don't think so. I guess maybe in some parks, but a lot would remain about the same I think. If you go to Paradise on a sunny day, I interpret the crowd to be mostly tourists. I wouldn't be surprised if the average person doesn't fluently speak English. This makes me think a lot of people there are probably internationally travelling on expensive vacations, so why wouldn't you spend an extra $40 over the old price to get a once in a lifetime opportunity to view Mt. Rainier. I bet they could raise it to $150 and still get 75% as many visitors. All assumptions on my part, just what I think would happen.


I think it's sad if they go through with this because it cuts off a lot of local low-income people from visiting the park (granted, if you truly can't pay $70 you probably can't really afford the old price plus gas to get there - but $70 is just a really hard amount to accept, if I didn't get an annual pass I would not go as frequently even though I can afford it).

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MyFootHurts
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PostTue Oct 24, 2017 6:46 pm 
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$70 for a car with a family of four at MNRP is still a bargain compared to any other tourist destination, especially since the entrance fee is good for a week.
I looked up some local tourist attractions for a family of four and he's the 1 day admission fees:

Seattle ferris wheel (10 minute ride)- $46 (plus $10-20 parking)
Northwest Trek - $73
Wild Waves - $88
Fright Factory haunted house in Enumclaw $48
Crystal Mountain gondola (summer) - $70
WA State Fair - $48 just to walk in the door plus $20 minimum for parking.
Foxes strip club in Tacoma - $40/person not including lap dances, tips etc  uhoh.gif
Dinner at any random restaurant in Seattle - $150 plus parking
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Bernardo
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PostTue Oct 24, 2017 6:51 pm 
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As I mentioned in the Shenandoah trip report thread, they are trying to get the one time visitors to pay the annual fee.  This might encourage more use of the park because people who go once could basically go free for the rest of the year.   I believe many locals would seek out cheaper alternatives.
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trestle
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PostTue Oct 24, 2017 6:57 pm 
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I'm not a mathematician but if they were raising $200 million under the old plan and nearly tripling the fee only raises the net to $268 million, my guess is they are calculating a drop-off in overall visits.

From the linked article and repeated in the Seattle Times article today:

Quote:
The nearly $200 million collected in entrance fees could climb to $268 million, the government estimated.


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DIYSteve
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PostTue Oct 24, 2017 7:12 pm 
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mbravenboer wrote:
If they need more funding, then this needs to become a political issue and funded differently.  .  .  . 

It's already a political issue, and has been for years.

trestle wrote:
I'm not a mathematician but if they were raising $200 million under the old plan and nearly tripling the fee only raises the net to $268 million, my guess is they are calculating a drop-off in overall visits

and the likelihood that many will purchase an America the Beautiful Pass.
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Ski
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PostTue Oct 24, 2017 7:37 pm 
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Craig Sailor, quoting the National Parks Conversation Association wrote:
“Given the scale of the backlog, fees alone cannot be the answer to this enormous challenge,” the National Parks Conversation Association said in a statement Tuesday.

Currently the estimated maintenance backlog for the National Park Service is $11.9 Billion dollars.

Craig Sailor, reporting for The News Tribune wrote:
The nearly $200 million collected in entrance fees could climb to $268 million, the government estimated.

$68 million dollars doesn't even begin to put a dent in the $11.9 Billion dollar maintenance backlog.

This is a dumb-ass idea. Congress needs to make adequate funding appropriations for our National Parks. Currently what they receive is a pittance - a tiny drop in the huge ocean of Federal spending - and is (and has been) nowhere near what the agency actually needs to maintain its infrastructure.

Raising the entrance fees to that level will make our National Parks become what downhill skiing is currently: another rich man's sport.

Bad idea. Bad policy.

(I do find it interesting that there's a National Parks Conversation Association. Who knew?)

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DIYSteve
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PostTue Oct 24, 2017 8:14 pm 
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Ski wrote:
Congress needs to make adequate funding appropriations for our National Parks.

Yeah, right, as if that will happen with this Congress  lol.gif
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cascadeclimber
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PostTue Oct 24, 2017 8:19 pm 
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MyFootHurts wrote:
$70 for a car with a family of four at MNRP is still a bargain compared to any other tourist destination, especially since the entrance fee is good for a week.
I looked up some local tourist attractions for a family of four and he's the 1 day admission fees:

Seattle ferris wheel (10 minute ride)- $46 (plus $10-20 parking)
Northwest Trek - $73
Wild Waves - $88
Fright Factory haunted house in Enumclaw $48
Crystal Mountain gondola (summer) - $70
WA State Fair - $48 just to walk in the door plus $20 minimum for parking.
Foxes strip club in Tacoma - $40/person not including lap dances, tips etc  uhoh.gif
Dinner at any random restaurant in Seattle - $150 plus parking

Um, those are for-profit ventures, NOT places owned by the public. National Parks should be accessible at little or no cost to all, because we already pay for them and that's why they were established in the first place.

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RandyHiker
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PostTue Oct 24, 2017 8:27 pm 
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cascadeclimber wrote:
Um, those are for-profit ventures, NOT places owned by the public. National Parks should be accessible at little or no cost to all, because we already pay for them and that's why they were established in the first place.

Along the same lines, just add "and parks"

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cascadeclimber
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PostTue Oct 24, 2017 8:31 pm 
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It's also worth noting that the total annual increase in revenue from this, which will undoubtedly make those parks unaffordable for tens of thousands of people, is LESS than we've spent to send the current president to his own damn golf courses in the nine months he's been in office.

So it's pretty disgustingly clear where the priorities of this country lie.

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