For many years, park budgets had been insufficient to keep up with increasing costs of maintaining facilities and services for an ever-growing public.
In 1996, a far-sighted program was authorized by the U.S. Congress which allowed National Park Service units, including Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP), to keep the majority of entrance and camping fees (80%) collected at their sites to assist with repair, rehabilitation and renovation needs, critical resource protection needs and natural and cultural resource management and science research. In 2004, Congress extended this successful program through 2014, under the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act.
Since the beginning of this program, Rocky Mountain National Park has spent over $35 million in repairs, renovations and improvements, and resource restoration. Ninety percent of surveyed park visitors have continually expressed support for this program.