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Contact: Jennette Jurado, 432-294-2382 or 432-477-1109
The National Park Service (NPS) announced that Big Bend National Park will modify its entrance fees to provide additional funding for infrastructure and maintenance needs to enhance the visitor experience. Effective June 1, 2018, the entrance fees to the park will be $30 per verhicle or $25 per motorcycle. A Big Bend annual park pass will cost $55. All of the money received from entrance fees remains with the National Park Service, with at least 80 percent of the revenue going to Big Bend National Park.
Revenue from entrance fees remains in the National Park Service and helps ensure a quality experience for all who visit. Here in Big Bend National Park, at least 80 percent of entrance fees stay in the park and are committed to projects that enhance visitor experiences. We share the other 20 percent of entry fee income with other national parks for their projects.
In response to public comments on a fee proposal released in October 2017, there will be a modest increase for all entrance fee-charging parks, rather than the higher peak-season fees initially proposed only for 17 highly visited national parks.
"Revenue generated from park entrance fees is used for a variety of projects that result in a quality experience for all visitors," stated David Larson, Acting Superintendent. "For example, fee dollars are being used to replace roofs on the historic Chisos Basin stone cottages originally built by the Civilian Conservation Corps. A future project entails replacing the 70-year-old water line to the Chisos Basin."
National parks have experienced record breaking visitation, with more than 1.5 billion visitors in the last five years. Throughout the country, the combination of aging infrastructure and increased visitation has put a strain on parks roads, bridges, campgrounds, waterlines, bathrooms, and other visitor services and led to an $11.6 billion deferred maintenance backlog nationwide.
Entrance fees collected by the National Park Service totaled $199.9 million in Fiscal Year 2016. The NPS estimates that once fully implemented, the new fee structure will increase annual entrance fee revenue by about $60 million.
Big Bend National Park has had an entrance fee since 1987. The current rate of $25 per vehicle or $20 per motorcycle has been in effect since 2015. The park is one of 117 National Park Service sites that charges an entrance fee; the other 300 national parks will remain free to enter.
The price of the annual America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Annual Pass and Lifetime Senior Pass will remain $80.