Monday, May 11, 2009

Canadian Parks Plan for a Big Freeze!

Price freeze-that is. This from this morning's Vancouver Sun.

National park gate fees --including those at Banff and Jasper--are being frozen in a bid to entice cash-strapped Canadians to visit more often.
A two-year fee freeze at national parks and historic sites, described as"some of the most magnificent and fascinating places to visit in the world," was announced Saturday by Environment Minister Jim Prentice.
"In this time of global economic recession, our government is doing what it can to encourage Canadians to enjoy these places," said Prentice. "For many families, every dollar counts."
Adults currently pay $9.80 at the gates in Banff National Park. Annual park passes for adults are $67.70, and $84.40 for deluxe passes including historic sites.
Individual rates for 2008 will stay in place until April 1, 2011. For the travel trade, the 2009 rates now in effect will be frozen until April 1, 2012.
Read the rest here.

I'm all for getting more people to visit national parks and I'm all for equitable user fees. $9.80 Canadian is still a deal to hike all day at Banff. What's the cost for a crappy 90 minute movie at the theatre? Nine bucks! Skiing all day at Whistler? Almost $90! Box seats to watch the Mariners? How about $53!! And we tax payers even subsidized their stadium-Ay Carumba!
Now, we definitely need to fund our parks better- Congress needs to cough up more money-and we visitors need to stop whining over spending $10 to hike in Mount Rainier -these places are worth far more than funding steroid taking athletes, breast-enhancing drug-taking actresses and providing mega resorts for the rich. I already have my money put aside for my American and Canadian National Park passes for this season. I buy annual passes and my trips come out to less than a buck a visit! My coffee on the way home costs more! And next year on my Canadian Parks visits I'll have a little extra money for my Tim Hortons stop since my park fees won't be going up!

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