Wisconsin DNR to up camping fees at most popular parks
MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is unveiling plans for a new pricing system for camping and daily admission at state parks.
Daily rates are going up at the most popular locations of Devil’s Lake, Peninsula and Willow River, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported . There will be camping fee increases at 38 properties at various times of the year, though 36 locations will see fee cuts.
The largest increase will be $7 per day. The biggest cuts are $5.
The plan comes after state lawmakers cut funding for the parks system and ordered the Department of Natural Resources to rely on fees and revenue.
Campgrounds that have an occupancy rate of 80 percent or more during designated periods will see a fee increase. Sites with occupancy rates of 30 percent or less will get fees reduced.
Hourly fees for parks, annual sticker prices and discounted rates for Wisconsin residents 65 and older aren’t changing.
Fees may rise and fall at some sites depending on the season because the pricing changes are driven by customer demand. The higher prices during peak camping periods at popular parks will help the Department of Natural Resources manage capacity, said Ben Bergey, director of the state parks.
The changes are estimated to generate an additional $1.1 million for the state parks annually, Bergey said. The park system should be able to avoid a funding shortfall, and some visitors will be able to pay less for certain camping sites at certain times of the year, Bergey said.
The Natural Resources Board will review the plan on Jan. 24. The new pricing system is expected to take effect after Feb. 15.
Information from: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, http://www.jsonline.com