The state of Indiana on Thursday (Nov. 15) raised rates for camping, cabins, swimming and other state park activities but announced that the $5 daily entrance fee will remain unchanged, the Statehouse File reported.
“Our goal, as always, is to provide the best state parks and facilities we can for our visitors,” said Department of Natural Resources Director (DNR) Rob Carter.
“We’ve made minor fee adjustments in the past to keep pace with the costs of meeting that goal. It’s now time to make a few additional changes, while also keeping in mind family budgets and the economic challenges Hoosiers are facing.”
- Annual entrance permits will increase from $36 to $40 for Indiana residents. The annual out-of-state entrance permit will increase from $46 to $60.
- Annual entrance permits also may be used for entrance to the interpretive center at Falls of the Ohio State Park.
The new rates took effect Thursday but the DNR said reservations made under the old fee schedule will be honored.
Among the other fee increases.
- Camping rates will increase by $1 to $4 depending on the type of facilities, but weekday campers will still get a better rate.
- Swimming pool fees will increase to $3 per person per day. That’s a $1 increase. A family swimming pass will be $50 for a 25-visit pass, which can reduce the per person-per day cost back to $2. Swimming passes have no expiration date, and can be used from one year to the next.
- Cabin rates will increase by $5 per day in some locations.
- The annual motorized lake permit will increase from $20 to $22.
- Some state park inn rooms will increase from 99 cents to $4.95 per night depending on location and amenities.
For a complete list of fee changes, go to www.stateparks.IN.gov/2391.htm.
In 2006, the Indiana Natural Resources Commission approved a fee structure that gives the DNR director flexibility in setting rates for entrance, camping, swimming, boat launching and many other facilities and services. None of the fee changes for 2013 move prices at or near the top of the ranges allowed by the commission.
The state has raised rates at nightly rates at the inn at Turkey Run State Park and other lodges. The amount ranges from roughly $1 to $5 per night depending on the location and room amenities.
Visitor fees provide about 67% of the funding for park services, staff and the natural and cultural resources. Most of the remaining dollars come from the state budget, which is set by the General Assembly.
“Modest, periodic adjustments in fees help us maintain services,” said Dan Bortner, director of the DNR Division of State Parks & Reservoirs. “This approach was championed by Col. Richard Lieber, the founder of our state park system, from its very beginning in 1916. It is a philosophy that we still believe in today.”