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State raises park fees

WATKINS GLEN—The Watkins Glen State Park is just one of the state parks in New York to see a fee increase, as part of $4 million in increases for the 2010 season.
Watkins Glen is one of the state’s “flagship” parks to have the vehicle entrance fee increase from $7 to $8. A total of 27 “flagship” parks have increased their entrance fee this year.
Other state park increases announced April 1, were for golf courses, out-of-state camping surcharges and ocean beaches vehicle use fees. According to the New York State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, the fee changes are in addition to the 2010-11 budget that calls for closing and reducing operations at dozens of state parks and historic sites. The higher fees “will not change the number of parks and historic sites slated for those cutbacks.”
The surcharge for out-of-state campers will be $5 per night on campsites and $25 per week on cottage/cabin rentals. According to the parks office, this puts New York in line with other states to have surcharges for out-of-state visitors.
At golf courses, fees will increase differently. Besides Bethpage Black, all other courses will increase no more than $3. At Soaring Eagles Golf Course at Mark Twain State Park, the weekday and weekend prices (for 18 holes) are $27 and $23 respectively. The cost for nine holes, weekdays and weekends, is $15 and $16 respectively.
These fee increases are helping to offset additional park service reductions for the upcoming season. The new fees will be in place for the 2010-11 operating season. Last year, fees were increased on campsites and cabins, the Empire Passport season pass, marina rentals and golf courses, while vehicle use fees were unchanged. Fees collected by State Parks are dedicated by law to the operations, maintenance and capital improvement of New York’s state parks and historic sites.
New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees 178 state parks and 35 historic sites. For more, call 518-474-0456 or visit

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