SPRINGDALE — Zion National Park and other National Park Service units that collect entrance fees and recreation fees from park visitors are beginning public engagement to seek comments on possible changes in park fees. Zion is proposing an increase to its camping, entrance, and wilderness permit fees. The last time entrance fees were increased at Zion was in 2007. The current camping fees date back to 2004 and wilderness permit fees to 2005.
Under the authority of the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act, Zion National Park retains 80 percent of the recreation fees it collects. Fee revenue from Zion National Park entrance stations and campgrounds has provided funding for over 24 major projects since 2010, the park said in a statement released Monday. All of the projects focused on improvements to visitor services, facilities, and visitor safety.
“The fee revenue is critical to the park,” the park Superintendent Jeff Bradybaugh said. “Funds from entrance, camping and other fees are used to improve and maintain our facilities and provide valuable visitor services.”
More than 70 percent of the entrance fees are used to operate the shuttle bus system in the park and the Town of Springdale. The bus system improves park operations and visitor experience by decreasing vehicle congestion in Zion Canyon, improving air quality, and providing visitors safe and easy access to popular park features, the park’s statement said. The shuttle buses are 15 years old and maintenance costs are increasing. The increase in entrance fees would help maintain shuttle facilities, as well as the aging buses and help to begin the replacement of the fleet.
Below is a comparison of current and proposed entrance fees provided by the park.
|Entrance||Current Fee||Proposed Fee|
|1-7 Day Private, Non-Commercial Vehicle||$25 per vehicle||$30 per vehicle|
|1-7 Day Motorcycle||$12 per person||$25 per motorcycle|
|1-7 Day Individual Per Person (hiker, bicyclist, etc.)||$12 per person||$15 per person|
|Zion Annual Pass||$50||$60|
Increased campground revenue will be used to maintain and rehabilitate the park’s three campgrounds, the park’s statement said. Projects could include rehabilitating and upgrading restrooms and other facilities to Americans with Disabilities Act standards. In addition, revenue has not kept pace with rising electric power costs and campsites with electric service have been operating at a deficit. Below is a comparison of current and proposed fees for campgrounds.
|Watchman and South Campgrounds (single sites)||Current Fee||Proposed Fee|
|Campsites without electric hookups||$16||$20|
|Campsites with electric hookups||$18-$20||$30|
Group camp fees are also proposed to be changed from a per-person fee of $3 to a flat rate per group size. Below is the proposed fee structure per group size.
|Number of People in Group||Proposed Fee|
A fee increase for wilderness permits is proposed to ensure wilderness resources and experience are protected for those visiting today and in the future. Wilderness permit fees are used to answer public inquiries on wilderness activities and permit requirements by visitors in person, on line and by telephone; provide preventative search and rescue patrols; monitor wilderness resource condition; and maintain wilderness campsites and trails.
|Number of People in Group||Current Fee||Proposed Fee|
National park entrance fees are not charged for persons under 16 years of age. Costs for passes covered under the America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass Program will not be changed at this time, the park’s statement said. These passes include: Interagency Annual, Interagency Senior, Interagency Military, Interagency Access, and Volunteer. Additional information on each pass can be found at the National Parks website. These passes can be purchased at any National Park site.
Public comment invited
The public comment period is open for 45 days from Dec. 9 through Jan. 23, 2015. Please access the National Park Service planning website to comment. A public open house for the proposed fee increases for Zion National Park and its sister parks, Cedar Breaks National Monument and Bryce Canyon National Park, will be held on Jan. 8, from 5-7 p.m., at the Cedar City-Brian Head Tourism Office, 581 N. Main Street in Cedar City.
UPDATE: Zion National Park submitted the following Web page link as preferred for comments: www.parkplanning.nps.gov/zion.
Zion National Park revenue
Last year, more than 2.8 million park visitors visited Zion National Park, contributing $147,051,900 to the local economy and supporting 1,763 jobs related to the local tourism industry.
- Zion National Park website | www.parkplanning.nps.gov/zion
- Information about the 2013 National Park Visitor Spending Effects
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