Haleakalā Entrance Fee Hikes Proposed
By Maui Now Staff
Haleakalā National Park on Maui is proposing an entrance fee hike that is scheduled to begin in 2015 and continue with incremental increases through 2017. The increase will more than double the admission for individuals, motorcycles and vehicle passes over the next few years.
Revenues from entrance fees are projected to total $14 million between now and 2020, but if the fee hike is approved, park officials say revenues over the same period could double to $28.4 million.
Park officials say the proposal calls for the following increases:
- Per-person fee: would increase from the current $5 rate to $12 in 2017.
- Motorcycle fee: would go from $5 to $20, in $5 annual increases.
- Per-vehicle pass: would be raised from the current $10 fee to $25 in 2017, in $5 annual increments.
- Annual Tri-Park pass (for unlimited entry into Haleakalā National Park, Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, and Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park): would remain at the current rate of $25 in 2015 and 2016, and then increase to a nationwide standard of $50 in 2017. Park officials say this delay in implementation is to reduce the immediate impact of increased fees to local residents who visit the park frequently.
“We are committed to keeping the park affordable but we also want to provide visitors and residents with the best possible experience,” said park superintendent Natalie Gates in a park press release announcement.
Gates said the revenue from entrance fees is used to improve visitor facilities, restore recreational trails, and sustain native species and landscapes. The funds are also used for exhibits, brochures, cultural demonstrations, school and internship programs, and community outreach.
According to Gates, fee revenues have funded $36.6 million in projects at Haleakalā since 1997, some of which have included the following:
- $2.75 million project in 2000 to build new restrooms and a parking lot in the Kīpahulu District and provide potable water to visitors;
- $500,000 annually for the restoration of trails throughout the park;
- $499,500 in 2010 for the completion of archaeological surveys;
- $299,000 in 2013 to support the control of invasive species;
- $60,000 annually from 2012 to 2013 to stabilize silversword populations at the park; and
- $113,000 in 2013 to restore native landscapes.
She said increased fee revenues will provide more funds for these and other types of projects.
Tourism to Haleakalā National Park in 2013 generated more than $47 million in visitor spending and supported 536 jobs in the area, according to data released by the National Park Service.
The public will have a chance to weigh in on the proposed fee increases during two public meetings planned in November at the following times and locations:
- Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014: 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the Hannibal Tavares Community Center in Pukalani; and
- Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014: 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the Helene Social Hall in Hāna.
Public comment should be submitted on or before Dec. 15, 2014, and can be made via: comment cards at any park visitor center; mailed to HALE Proposed Fee Increase, c/o Superintendent, Haleakalā National Park, P.O. Box 369, Makawao, HI 96768; or submitted online at the following direct LINK.
The park advises that entire comments – including personal identifying information – may be made publicly available at any time.