Several State and Local Parks Set to Increase Camping Fees in 2016
Camping is one of America’s favorite pastimes, allowing families to bond without overspending. Now, several parks all around the country are planning to increase camping fees, much to the dismay of fervent campers.
According to the Portland Press Herald, the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry is hiking up the price of camping, increasing state park fees for the first time in 14 years.
As part of the price changes, camping reservation fees for state parks in Maine have increased from $2 to $5. Additionally, actual camping fees have skyrocketed from $3 to $10.
A spokesman for the department, John Bott, claims that even these considerable price increases won’t even cover the costs of programs and maintenance for state parks.
“They’re raises but they’re relatively modest in comparison to what other states have done over a period of time. We feel that right now we’re still in the middle of the pack in terms of the cost of state parks in other states and if you compare us to the private sector, we’re an even better bargain,” said Bott.
Camping is a $15 billion dollar industry, though much of that revenue is based on private sector campgrounds. However, the increased price of camping is not limited to Maine, nor is it limited to state parks.
The Tomah Journal recently reported on a potential camping fee increase for McMullen Memorial County Park in Wisconsin. The price hike was approved by the Monroe County Board of Supervisors.
Daily rates for McMullen Memorial County Park will increase by $2, from $19 to $21, while monthly rates will go from $350 to $375.
While the price increases aren’t as severe as the ones announced in Maine, the situation in Wisconsin is yet another example of the high price of camping in 2016.
According to the St. George News, the Bureau of Land Management-Utah increased several camping fees in September, affecting at least eight different campgrounds.
It remains to be seen if people will camp less because of the price increases, but those who are upset by the changes should know that it’s happening all over the country.
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