New Non-Resident Entry Fee Begins at ‘Akaka Falls

December 16, 2010, 10:59 AM HST · Updated December 16, 11:05 AM
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A new $5 per car fee went into effect today at ‘Akaka Falls State Park on the Big Island.  The state Department of Land and Natural Resources began charging the entry fee to non-residents and commercial tour vehicles today.  Hawai’i residents with a valid ID are exempt from the entry fee.

'Akaka Falls. Photo by Wendy Osher.

'Akaka Falls signage. Photo by Wendy Osher.

“Fees paid by our commercial and out-of-state visitors to high traffic parks, will help offset the shortfalls currently facing the state parks budget,” Dan Quinn, State Parks administrator.  He said the fees will help to generate new sources of income to help the parks system gain more self-sufficiency.

Commercial tour representatives and members of the public were invited to attend an informational meeting earlier this month in Hilo to explain the pricing structure and fee collection set-up.

Diamond Parking was contracted to collect fees for the Division of State Parks. Public Utilities Commission- (PUC) regulated commercial vehicles will pay: 1-7 passenger vehicles: $10.00 per trip; 8-25 passenger vehicles: $20.00 per trip; 26 + passenger vehicles: $40.00 per trip.

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A similar non-resident entry fee began at ‘Iao Valley State Monument on Maui and at Nu’uanu Pali State Wayside Park in March.

In the fall of 2009, the Hawai’i Business Roundtable asked residents their opinion on measures to either increase taxes, or reduce services in order to keep state parks open.  The most popular opinion, favored by 58%, was to charge entrance or parking fees, but exempt residents.

The Board of Land and Natural Resources authorized the implementation of either parking fees or entry fees, but not both at the same location.  The Parks department then identified parks with a high volume of non-resident traffic, and organized informational meetings

the Division of State Parks to set either parking fees or entry fees (but not both at the same location) at specific state park locations across the state. The Parks division identified parks with high volume non-resident traffic to implement either parking or entry fees.  Other parks on the list for future discussion include Hapuna on the Big Island, Ha’ena on Kaua’i, and Makena on Maui.

(Posted by Wendy Osher; supporting information courtesy state of Hawaii, State Parks)  *** If you enjoyed this post, you may also like our story on the ‘Iao Valley State park entry fee.

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