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Author Topic: Privatize National Parks campgrounds?  (Read 2486 times)

Camper054

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Re: Privatize National Parks campgrounds?
« Reply #30 on: October 25, 2019, 04:08:36 PM »
A mere 12 billion needed? Maybe give Bill Gates and his buddies a call. A drop in the bucket for them. Its a great way for some mega billionaire to become a national hero.

Agreed!

Some of these mega billionaires do give lots of money to charities and other welfare, child education, fights against life threatening diseases, etc., which is great and nice of them.

Why not some to our National Parks?  I do not want to start listing the reasons, there are too many!

Thanks all for your thoughts, comments....all the best to all of you...

John From Detroit

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Re: Privatize National Parks campgrounds?
« Reply #31 on: October 25, 2019, 04:25:09 PM »
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...the U.S. park service faces a $12 billion maintenance backlog.
How many Million has they handed, tax free. to Billionaire industrialists to encourage them to "invest in America" only to have 'em fly off to Panama or the Islands or some other tax shelter and we never get a dime back?

On the other hand if they increased the Food Stamp budget by oh say 20 billion. they would get the 20  billion back and 16 more on top of it so they could fund the park service and have 4 billion left.

But Food Stamps are a waste of taxpayer money.
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Back2PA

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Re: Privatize National Parks campgrounds?
« Reply #32 on: October 25, 2019, 05:14:29 PM »
How many Million has they handed, tax free. to Billionaire industrialists to encourage them to "invest in America" only to have 'em fly off to Panama or the Islands or some other tax shelter and we never get a dime back?

A partial list with their effective tax rate:

Amazon -1%, Delta Airlines -4%, Chevron -4%, General Motors -2%, Occidental Petroleum -1%, Honeywell -1%, FirstEnergy -1%, Prudential Finance -24%, Xcel Energy -2%, Devon Energy -1%, DTW Energy -1%, Halliburton -2%, Netflix -3%, Whirlpool -10%, Eli Lilly -9%, Goodyear -3%, Penske Automotive -3%, Aramark -15%, etc etc

These companies, plus a couple others, blew a $20B hole in the budget last year, enough to pay the entire U.S. Park Service maintenance backlog with $8B leftover.

This isn't about raising user fees or reducing the senior discount.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2019, 06:34:01 PM by Back2PA »
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SeilerBird

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Re: Privatize National Parks campgrounds?
« Reply #33 on: October 25, 2019, 05:26:25 PM »
Of the 12 billion dollars that the park service needs only a few billion are for the campgrounds. The lions share is for improving roads, visitors centers, trails, and signs. And right now the parks are highly dependent on volunteer labor. They should be paid.

Camper054

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Re: Privatize National Parks campgrounds?
« Reply #34 on: October 26, 2019, 01:01:49 PM »
Of the 12 billion dollars that the park service needs only a few billion are for the campgrounds. The lions share is for improving roads, visitors centers, trails, and signs. And right now the parks are highly dependent on volunteer labor. They should be paid.

Totally agree (I'm sure others as well) '...parks are highly dependent on volunteer labor.  They should be paid.'  Couple of times we camped this year - tent (before we bought our pop up) and after, I have really good experience and help from the camp hosts/camp folks.  One time, we arrived late at Shenandoah NP and the camp store was closed and we did not have any firewood on us.  We thought the store would be open, but unfortunately it closed just before we arrived.  The host told us we could pick up what we can find on the ground and burn them, but it had been raining and everything was wet.  She realized it and then brought us some firewood from her stock!  Very recently, at Brown County state park (Nashville, IN), our power source was mistakenly taken by another camper.  Ater calling the camp folks, one guy came and helped us sort it out.  He was very courteous and did the talking with the neighbor camper that they should be using another power source.  I am sure many of you had similar experience!

MN Blue Skies

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Re: Privatize National Parks campgrounds?
« Reply #35 on: October 27, 2019, 12:23:34 AM »
How would privatization effect the Ranger programs and all the education that is provided by the Parks?
 
« Last Edit: October 27, 2019, 12:25:46 AM by MN Blue Skies »
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PancakeBill

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Re: Privatize National Parks campgrounds?
« Reply #36 on: October 27, 2019, 07:50:21 AM »
Interpretation Rangers will still be there, the privatization would only affect the campgrounds which Rangers don't work in anyway.  Hopefully, the bidding for this would include requirements to update the areas.  Some are fine, some are not.  Look what Xanterra is doing at Fishing Bridge CG in Yellowstone, it was built in the 50's with 50's camp trailers in mind, over the years camp trailers and motorhomes got bigger.  Ideas on CG's have changed.  It was so outmoded, they had to close the CG for 2 years, demolish the entire CG and start from scratch with infrastructure.  I look forward to their new opening, I am sure the price will be higher, but even that part is regulated, and the price was already high for what you got.  Now there will be better sites for a better value. 

As to the programs, these are run from interpretation, based out of visitor centers.  This portion would remain the same.

I worked for 10 years in the visitor center at Old Faithful along side the Interp folks.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2019, 07:51:59 AM by PancakeBill »
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garyb1st

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Re: Privatize National Parks campgrounds?
« Reply #37 on: October 27, 2019, 11:28:58 AM »
My Golden Age Passport cost $50.00.  That was the annual cost of a pass at the time, about 15 years ago.  So if I purchased one every year since, at $50.00, I'd have paid $750.  But the current cost is $80.00.  So maybe my actual costs for the past 15 years would have been closer to $1,000.  Sounds to me like one hell of a bargain.  In fact, I've thought many times as I've pulled my card from my wallet that this can't last forever.  We prefer public parks to private parks and resorts and probably stay at public parks when not boon docking 90% of the time.  So in addition to the $750+ I've saved on park admissions, I've saved a fair amount on camping fees.  On average we're probably on the road 3 months a year.  For 15 years, that's maybe 1,350 days.  If we camped half the time at national parks, Corp parks, Forest Service Campgrounds, etc., we'd have saved conservatively maybe $8-9,000.  That's 50% off, an average campground fee of $25.00 a night for 675 nights.  So I don't have any issues with paying more.  I don't like to pay more than I have to for anything.  But let's be honest.  There's no better deal anywhere.  In fact, if the average under age 62 camper had any idea of how much we save, I think they'd be less than sympathetic to our concern.   So maybe it's time to bite the bullet and not push back when the guys who do the budget try to keep things going with a business model that would have bankrupt ANY other enterprise many years ago. 

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Isaac-1

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Re: Privatize National Parks campgrounds?
« Reply #38 on: October 27, 2019, 04:53:33 PM »
Part of the problem I see is the push back against any form of update and modernization one sees at any national Park.  You have groups that actively want to discourage people from visiting national parks, groups that are against enlarging parking lots, having cell phone coverage, widening roads, etc. as that might encourage more people to visit.

In the last couple of weeks I have visited multiple national parks, and stayed in concessionaire operated campgrounds in two locations.  Wahweap campground on Lake Powell (Glen Canyon National Recreation area), and Mather Campground at Grand Canyon, I also visited Petrified Forest National Park, which has no campgrounds.

Both these campgrounds are managed by 3rd party companies, and each has a very different feel.  Mather Campground you would never guess a 3rd party company was involved, though with Wahweap, things felt much more commercial, check in was by a store clerk wearing a logo sports shirt at a desk inside the camp store, which was filled with trinkets, t-shirts, etc. though also well stocked with food items.  By comparison Mather, had the more traditional walk up window check in, with either a ranger or someone dressed similar to a ranger doing the check in.

This is just to say that there is a range of styles out there, and which one works best, may depend on the setting.
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Dragginourbedaround

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Re: Privatize National Parks campgrounds?
« Reply #39 on: October 28, 2019, 09:59:43 AM »
Quote
My Golden Age Passport cost $50.00. That was the annual cost of a pass at the time, about 15 years ago.
I paid $20 for my Senior Pass about ten years ago. When they announced they were raising the cost to $80, we bought one for $20 for my wife in case I lost mine.
Gene

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