Oregon state park camping and day-use fees will increase for the first time in 13 years in 2010.
The increased fee became official Sept. 29. Day-use fees will increase January 1, 2010 from $3 to $5 per carload for a daily permit. On May 1, 2010, RV campsite rates will rise by $4 per night, and tent site rates will climb $3 per night.
Campers who visit between now and April 30, 2010 will pay the current, lower rate. The current rate also will be honored for reservation customers who booked sites for May 1 and later before Oct. 1, 2009. However, customers making reservations now for stays starting May 1 and later will be charged the new rate.
There are two types of state park campgrounds: value and destination. Value campgrounds are usually smaller, less well-known sites that charge less. The new nightly rate for full hookup (sewer, electricity and water) and electric hookup (electricity and water, only) campsites will be $20 for Value Parks and $24 for Destination Parks starting May 1. Tent sites will rent for $17 or $19. RV and tent campsites rates are discounted by $4 per night from October 1 to April 30 every year to promote fall, winter and spring camping.
The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) initially proposed increasing tent camping by $4, but reduced the change to $3 following a lengthy public comment period. The Oregon Legislative Assembly approved the concept of increasing state park user fees during its 2009 session.
Overnight cabin and yurt rental fees will also increase by $4 and $9, respectively, making the new rates $39 for a basic cabin and $36 for a basic yurt. All of the new rates, including local lodging taxes, are summarized online at (http://www.oregonstateparks.org/rates.php?season=1).
"Visitor fees are a major source of funds for park operations," says OPRD Recreation Programs Manager Richard Walkoski. "We're no longer funded by state taxes. In the 13 years since our last fee increase costs to run parks have increased steadily while the visitors' share of park revenue has fallen dramatically."
State park operations are also funded by a share of Lottery profits dedicated to state parks by Oregon voters in 1998, and a portion of the recreational vehicle registration fee. Because both funding sources have declined, the increased visitor fees are expected to keep the park operations budget even with last year.