The National Park Service announced on Thursday that Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park will modify its entrance fees to provide additional funding for infrastructure and maintenance needs to enhance the visitor experience.
Effective January 1, 2020, the entrance fees to the park will be $30 per vehicle or $25 per motorcycle and $15 per pedestrian or bicyclist. The receipt allows entry for seven days.
The annual Tri Park Pass, an annual pass that allows visitors unlimited entry to the three fee-charging national parks in Hawai‘i: Hawai‘i Volcanoes and Haleakalā National Parks, and Pu‘uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park, will increase in phases. Starting June 1, 2018, the Tri Park Pass will go from $30 to $50, and to $55 in January 2020. All of the money received from entrance fees remains in the NPS with at least 80 percent of the revenue staying in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.
Revenue from entrance fees remains in the National Park Service and helps ensure a quality experience for all who visit. At Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, at least 80 percent of entrance fees stay in the park and are devoted to spending that supports the visitor. The other 20 percent of entrance fee income is shared with other national parks for their projects.
In response to public comments on a fee proposal released by NPS in October 2017, the changes reflect a modest increase for all fee-charging parks, rather than the higher peak-season fees initially proposed for 17 highly visited national parks on the mainland.
“When I began my tenure at Hawai‘i Volcanoes in 2004, the park was approaching its 100th anniversary, but it already looked 100 years old. The Centennial and subsequent years have seen additional stressors to park infrastructure, trails and historic buildings, and the corrosive environment of an erupting volcano doesn’t help. The $5 increase, effective in January of 2020, will mitigate these effects as we continue to address deferred maintenance within the park,” said Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando.
National parks have experienced record-breaking visitation, with more than 1.5 billion visitors in the last five years. Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park had 2,016, 702 visitors in 2017, and in 2016, visitors spent $159,195,500 in communities near the park. That spending supported 1,917 jobs in the local area and had a cumulative benefit to the local economy of $199,923,400. (NPS 2017 economic data is not yet available).
Throughout the country, the combination of an aging infrastructure and increased visitation has put a strain on park roads, bridges, campgrounds, waterlines, bathrooms, and other visitor services and led to an $11.6 billion deferred maintenance backlog nationwide.
The additional revenue from entrance fees at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park will include a new roof at Jaggar Museum, the rehabilitation of the ‘Ōhi‘a Wing into a cultural museum and archives, and improvements to the park’s water system and park trails, including heavily used front country trails like Halema‘uma‘u and ‘Iliahi trails.
Entrance fees collected by the National Park Service totaled $199.9 million in Fiscal Year 2016. The NPS estimates that once fully implemented, the new fee structure will increase annual entrance fee revenue by about $60 million.
Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park has had an entrance fee since 1987. The current rate of $25 per vehicle or $20 per motorcycle has been in effect since June 1, 2017. The park is one of the 117 National Park Service sites that charge an entrance fee; the other 300 national parks will remain free to enter.
The price of the annual America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Lands Annual Pass and Lifetime Senior Pass will remain $80.
The complete fee schedule will change according to the following:
NPS file image.