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Contact: Wouter Ketel, (252) 728-2250 Ext. 3005
Harkers Island, North Carolina. Superintendent Russel J. Wilson is pleased to announce that a contractor has been selected to perform the safety and historic preservation modifications to the Cape Lookout Lighthouse that are needed to allow for public climbing access to the tower. Completion of the work is anticipated sometime this summer.
The Seashore is proposing a fee for climbing the tower, similar to that charged for the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, and will hold a public meeting to solicit comments on the new proposed fee. The meeting will be held at the Duke Marine Lab auditorium on March 26, 2010, from 7:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. A public comment period on the proposed fee will be open from March 15, 2010, until April 14, 2010.
Comments may be sent to the park address at Cape Lookout National Seashore, Lighthouse Fee Comments, 131 Charles Street, Harkers Island, North Carolina 28531, or they may be emailed to: Wouter_Ketel@nps.gov.
The climbing fee is necessary to recoup, in part, the expenses of managing visitor access to the Cape Lookout Lighthouse, which include: ensuring visitor safety within the tower (including recommended visitor occupancy limits), providing quality interpretation and education about the lighthouse to visitors, and for providing custodial maintenance of the tower and nearby restrooms.
Formerly open just four days per year, the Cape Lookout Lighthouse will be open for climbing three days per week - Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, from 10:00 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. In a typical summer season, plans are to have the tower open from May until the end of September, but this year (2010), the tower will open later due to the construction work. Once the lighthouse opens for the season, the Seashore proposes to sell tickets for lighthouse climbing at the Harkers Island Visitor Center, Tuesdays through Saturdays, from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. This will allow visitors to purchase tickets in advance for the same week. The fee proposed for climbing the lighthouse is $8.00 for adults and $4.00 for children (8 - 12 years of age) and seniors (62 and over.)
“We are excited to be able to open the tower to the public this year,” noted Wilson. “Because this is our first year, our initial plans will be subject to review next winter once we have more experience with how popular the climbs will be.”
Information on the fee and lighthouse climbing can be found at www.nps.gov/calo.