Mammoth Cave National Park proposes future fee increases
MAMMOTH CAVE, Ky. (WBKO) - Mammoth Cave National Park seeks public comments on a proposed increase in cave tour, camping rates and electric vehicle (EV) charging fees which would take effect in 2024.
Information on the fee increase, including a list of all proposed fees, is available for review and comment on the park’s Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) website until Friday.
“Mammoth Cave utilizes its recreational fee program to focus on projects that improve the visitor experience,” said Superintendent Barclay Trimble. “We have recently used the funds to replace deteriorated and unsafe benches and equipment at the park’s outdoor amphitheater, repaired handrails at the cave’s Historic Entrance that were damaged during a windstorm, and funded cave guides for our busy summer season. The funds we collect are essential to an investment in services and improvements that are necessary to serve the hundreds of thousands of visitors we receive each year.”
(A list of the fee increase proposal is below)
Trimble said one new service covered in the park’s fee approval process is for the use of EV charging stations that will be installed in the visitor center parking lot within the next year.
The new stations are planned to be Level 3 chargers which are the fastest on the market today.
At least 80% of the fees collected at Mammoth Cave are used to fund projects that address deferred maintenance needs, enhance visitor programs and services, protect resources, and improve and rehabilitate visitor facilities, according to Trimble.
The remaining 20% helps support projects in other National Park Service units that do not charge entrance fees, like Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park in Hodgenville.
Recreational fees are collected in the park under the 2004 Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act.
Expanded amenity fee increases require annual comparability studies and are determined by comparing the cost of Mammoth Cave tours, campsites, and EV charging fees with the cost of privately operated businesses of similar duration and visitor experience.
The park keeps fees in line with private operators and must not over or under charge for tours and visitor amenities.
Comments may be submitted at https://parkplanning.nps.gov/maca_fees_2023, which is the preferred method, but will also be accepted by U.S. mail addressed to “Mammoth Cave National Park, Attn: Proposed Fee Increase, P.O. Box 7, Mammoth Cave, KY 42259.”
All mail-in comments must be postmarked by July 28.
Anonymous comments and comments submitted by e-mail will not be accepted.
Bulk comments in any format submitted on behalf of others will not be accepted.
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