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Fee and Hours Change at Scotty’s Castle

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Date: January 30, 2012

 

Beginning February 1st, tour fees at Death Valley NP's Scotty's Castle will increase for most visitors, although the price will decrease for those holding the Interagency Senior Pass. In addition, beginning January 29th, the Castle will be open for extended hours: Visitor Center opens 8:45am - 5:30pm. House tours, first one at 9am, last one begins at 5pm. Grounds close at 6pm. This will be effective until April 21.

The new fee structure is as follows:

House Tour

Underground Tour

Combination Tour

Lower Vine Ranch

Adult(General Admission)

$15.00

$15.00

$25.00

$20.00

InteragencySenior Pass

$7.50

$7.50

$12.50

$10.00

InteragencyAccess Pass

$7.50

$7.50

$12.50

$10.00

Youth(6-15)

$7.50

$7.50

$12.50

$10.00

Child(5 & under)

Free

Free

Free

Free

Scotty's Castle is a historic house museum located in the northern part of Death Valley National Park in California. It is the key feature of the Death Valley Scotty Historic District, and is significant because of its association with the colorful mining conman Walter "Death Valley Scotty" Scott and its beautiful architecture, original furnishings, and artwork.

Today, the Castle contains thousands of objects that date from the period of time of Albert and Bessie Johnson's ownership (1920s through early 1940s). Some of the furniture and artwork were purchased in Europe and are up to 500 years old. Other pieces were commissioned for the Castle during the 1920s and are unique. Original textiles such as personal clothing, curtains, tapestries and rugs are on display in the Castle as they were in the house originally, not in cases or behind glass. Visitors can enter the Castle only via ranger-guided tours in order to protect this historic collection.

Tours of Scotty's Castle began in 1936, under the direction of Bessie Johnson. At that time, tour tickets cost $1.10 per person. The National Park Service continued charging for tours after it acquired the historic property in 1970. In recent years, ticket revenue has not been sufficient to cover the cost of the living history operations at Scotty's Castle and the shortfall has been covered from Death Valley National Park's base appropriation, which has impacted other park operations.

Tour fees were last raised in 2005. Expenses have increased since then due to inflation and new costs, such as the contract fees for the online reservation system. Tour revenue is used to pay for equipment, interpretive park rangers, park guides, and volunteers doing the living history programs or directly supporting these programs. The new fee changes include changing the fee structure to comply with national standards.

Advanced ticket purchases can be made at www.recreation.gov or by calling 1-877-444-6777. On the day of the tour, tickets are available only at the Scotty's Castle Visitor Center on a first-come, first-served basis.

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