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Proposal would hike fees for Lake Mead

Lake Mead National Recreation Area officials have proposed raising fees, in some cases doubling them, and are seeking public comments about the changes.

The National Park Service has updated its entrance fee schedule, and officials with Lake Mead National Recreation Area, a designated Group 2 park, are seeking to change fees to meet that rate.

Among the proposed changes are doubling the single-vehicle entrance fee from $10 to $20, the individual entry fee from $5 to $10 and the camping fee from $10 to $20 a night. Other changes are raising the motorcycle entrance fee from $10 to $15, the annual vehicle entrance fee from $30 to $40, the annual vessel fee from $30 to $50 and the group camping fee from $30 to $80 a night.

“We are committed to keeping the park affordable for our 7 million annual visitors,” said Patrick Gubbins, acting superintendent of the recreation area. “If a family with a vehicle and boat purchased the annual passes, the cost to experience Lake Mead National Recreation Area would break down to $7.50 a month. We believe this is still a great value.”

Additionally, under the proposal, annual vehicle passes will change from a sticker system with calendar-year validity to a card pass system with validity for 12 consecutive months from purchase. This change guarantees annual pass holders a full year of access, no matter when they purchase their passes.

Since 2000, fees have funded launch ramp extensions, the construction of Princess Cove Road in the Katherine Landing area of Lake Mohave, the construction of park entrance and visitor information stations, additional crews to remove litter, floating restrooms/pump-out stations, and navigation buoys and lights. The current fees have been in place since 2011.

Based on Bureau of Reclamation lake level projections for Lake Mead, park officials estimate that it will cost approximately $5 million during the next few years to extend launch ramps, relocate portable restrooms and grade beaches and dirt roads necessary for lake access.

Fees also are used to support projects that benefit visitors and improve their experience in the park, such as the repair and maintenance of facilities, capital improvements, enhanced amenities, resource protection and additional programs and services.

The public is encouraged to comment on the proposed changes. Feedback will be accepted through March 11 online at http://1.usa.gov/1vF2nLV and via mail at Lake Mead National Recreation Area Superintendent, Attention: Proposed Fee Increase, 601 Nevada Way, Boulder City, NV 89005. The new fees could be implemented by Jan. 1. But the schedule may vary based on feedback provided during the 30-day public engagement period.

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