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Contact: Outer Banks Group, (252) 473-2111
National Park Service Outer Banks Group Superintendent, Michael B. Murray has announced that the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse will open to the public for climbing from April 20, 2007 through Columbus Day, October 8, 2007.
The April 20 opening, the third Friday in April, is a change from previous years of opening on the Friday before Easter. "The Lighthouse seasonal ranger staff is paid for by funds generated from ticket sales," stated Murray. "Analysis of sales receipts and staffing costs has shown that it is not cost effective for us to keep the Lighthouse open during the slower visitation months in the early part of the spring. By opening later in April, we are able to recover costs and still have the lighthouse open during the core visitor season."
Additionally, federal personnel regulations prohibit the National Park Service from working seasonal employees for more than twenty-five weeks. "In changing the opening date of the lighthouse season to the third Friday in April, the seasonal lighthouse staff is consistently kept within the mandated work time limitation," stated Murray.
The National Park Service keeps the Lighthouse grounds open year-round, and the nearby Hatteras Island Visitor Center and Museum of the Sea open every day except for Christmas.
A temporary closing of the Double Keeper’s Quarters – "The Museum by the Sea" – will be necessary during the renovation period, January 8 through February 28, 2007. The nearby Hatteras Island Visitor Center/Bookstore will remain open on its regular schedule of 9:am to 5:pm. The lighthouse grounds will also remain open.
The Friday, April 20, 2007 opening of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse will continue to be a fee-free day, as it has in the past, for the local community members to climb the Lighthouse.