CASA GRANDE, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The National Park Service (NPS) announced on Friday, April 13 that Casa Grande Ruins National Monument will modify its entrance fees to provide additional funding for infrastructure and maintenance needs to enhance the visitor experience. Effective January 1, 2019, the entrance fees to the park will be $15 per adult, age 16 and over, for a 7-day pass.
Revenue from entrance fees remains in the National Park Service and helps ensure a quality experience for all who visit. Here at Casa Grande Ruins National Monument 100 percent of entrance fees stay in the park and are devoted to spending that supports the visitor.
In response to public comments on a fee proposal released in October 2017, there will be a modest increase for all entrance fee-charging parks, rather than the higher peak-season fees initially proposed only for 17 highly-visited national parks.
National parks have experienced record breaking visitation, with more than 1.5 billion visitors in the last five years. Throughout the country, the combination of an aging infrastructure and increased visitation has put a strain on park roads, bridges, campgrounds, waterlines, bathrooms, and other visitor services and led to a $11.6 billion deferred maintenance backlog nationwide.
Entrance fee revenues have provided funding for several projects at Casa Grande Ruins National Monument, all of which have focused on improvements to visitor services, visitor facilities, or visitor safety. Past examples include construction of the new theater at the monument visitor center, repaving the visitor center parking area, producing a new park film, a ruins stabilization and preservation program, and new wayside exhibits, which are all used by visitors to the monument every day.
Entrance fees collected by the National Park Service totaled $199.9 million in Fiscal Year 2016. The NPS estimates that once fully implemented, the new fee structure will increase annual entrance fee revenue by about $60 million.
The current rate of $10 per person has been in effect at Casa Grande Ruins National Monument since January 1, 2018. The park is one of 117 National Park Service sites that charge an entrance fee, the other 300 national parks will remain free to enter.
The price of the annual America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Annual Pass and Lifetime Senior Pass will remain $80.
The National Park Service has a standardized entrance fee structure, composed of four groups based on park size and type. Casa Grande Ruins National Monument is one of park sites in group 2. Some parks not yet aligned with the other parks in their category will raise their fees incrementally and fully incorporate the new entrance fee schedule by January 1, 2020.
The complete fee schedule will change according to the following: