Utter Insanity: National Parks
The Market Ticker - Commentary on The Capital Markets
2017-11-11 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Federal Government , 283 references Ignore this thread
Utter Insanity: National Parks
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Who could have seen this coming...... smiley

The National Park Service has announced a proposal to more than double the peak-season entrance fees at the country's busiest national parks, including Shenandoah, Yosemite, Yellowstone and Grand Canyon.

The park service said Tuesday that it needs the revenue expected from the fees to address its nearly $12 billion backlog of deferred maintenance. But the announcement has been met with worries that higher prices will push the parks out of reach for many Americans.

I was honestly blown away that there was a $30 per vehicle fee to come into the Grand Canyon park last summer.  For what amounts to a "day pass" for many people that's ridiculous.  Further, the camping fees are quite high and thus you would think they'd absorb the vehicle fee there, since you're already paying to be in the park in the camping fee.  And make no mistake -- we're talking about pay showers here when it comes to nickel-and-dimeing you to death -- you have to toss $2 in for four minutes of hot water.

Doubling that is prohibitive for a whole lot of people, and in fact it'll keep me out even though I can afford it.  Beyond not buying the "deferred maintenance" argument (I sure as hell didn't see evidence of that) there are all the nickel and dime "fees" along with rampant concessionaire granting that makes for utterly-silly pricing on anything inside (like a beer or a coke) more-akin to a football stadium than a national park.

Interestingly enough the one place this won't hit is the Smokey Mountains.  The reason is that in exchange for state support for cutting 441 over the pass between Cherokee and Gatlinburg both states required that the Federal Government not toll the road.

I'm not buying what the Interior Department is selling, in short.  Other than bureaucratic overhead and bloat, which I'm quite sure is rampant as in all branches of government the fact is that as usage has risen so have the fees, since they're assessed on every car that goes through the gate.

Since these parks already take 331 million visitors (by their counting) through the gate I simply don't see the funding problem, never mind that the more people come the more money they have.  Raising prices by 100% is rather more likely to result in a drop of visitors and might in fact drop visitor rates enough that it's a net negative.  Or even worse, it'll move a hell of a lot of people to the annual pass which will then provide an incentive to come even more-often, which in turn will increase damage and cost to the parks without any reasonable corresponding increase in revenue.

Leave it to government to first jack up costs through waste, fraud and inefficiency, and them come back with a demand for more money.

It's what they do.

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