Moderator: HAZ - Moderators
Or maybe they'll see the $80 annual pass as an investment and choose to use it all year long. Not all people below the median income have the same opinions or priorities-- way to empathize.flagscott wrote:Why not go even higher to ensure that no one below the median income in the US can afford a day in the park? I'm sure a lot of people on this site will support this. Empathy is not Arizona's strong suit.
I don't understand what you're saying. I'm saying that $70 makes a park visit unaffordable or close for a lot of people. Anyone who might find $70 out of reach isn't going to have $80 for a park pass. It would be great if more people saw the parks as an investment. But to make an investment, you have to have some extra money to spend.Tough_Boots wrote:Or maybe they'll see the $80 annual pass as an investment and choose to use it all year long. Not all people below the median income have the same opinions or priorities-- way to empathize.
You are aware that there are millions of people in the US for whom $70 of spending on a luxury like a national park trip, concert, or brunch bar tab is simply impossible, right?SpiderLegs wrote:If you can afford the gas and overpriced hotel rooms anywhere within two hours of the GC, spending an extra $20-$40 a carload to go in the park isn't that big of a deal. This would be a seasonal increase, so if you don't want to spend $70 to go to the parks in question simply wait for the months where it is less expensive.
Even at $70 a carload going to the GC is less expensive than taking a family of four to a Diamondbacks game or to the movies. I can easily run a $70 bar tab at brunch on a Sunday morning. The last major rock concert I went to my ticket was about $70 and it put me in the crappy seats. $70 is not that big of a deal.
I am more than aware of that. Those people are not driving to visit a national park. Simply putting it into perspective, going to a national park is still less expensive than going to a ball game, the movies or even a meal for four at the Olive Garden. And if $70 is too much, then you go in the off months. I can't afford to spend the night at a luxury resort in Phoenix during the winter, but if I wait until August I can.flagscott wrote:You are aware that there are millions of people in the US for whom $70 of spending on a luxury like a national park trip, concert, or brunch bar tab is simply impossible, right?
NOTE: To the overly-sensitive out there.... The graph below is NOT a race comment - merely a bar graph that cannot easily (at least by me) have the income numbers broken out of the photo in order to answer Chums.chumley wrote:I wonder what percentage of visitors to national parks (even the free ones -- which is the vast majority of them) are below the median income level. Does NPS gather visitation statistics like that?
In these difficult economic times, with Federal budget deficits running well over $100 billion a year, there is more pressure than ever to cut "non essential" Government expenditures and increase revenues. As loath as we in the National Park Service are to admit it, the national parks are a national luxury. Except in certain urban recreation areas, moreover, park visitation is heavily weighted to the middle and upper income segments of the public--people who have the money and leisure to travel, who willingly pay the much greater charges levied at commercial theme parks and other private attractions, and who would be unlikely to forego the national parklands if visitor fees there were raised to levels commensurate with their values. These considerations have inspired recent proposals under both the last Democratic and current Republican administrations to increase entrance and user fees, in effect reducing the extent to which the general taxpayer subsidizes the park goer. These proposals have met with strong opposition in Congress, where key members have led the fight to freeze or hold down direct charges to the visiting public.
At such times of dissension, it is frequently useful to look at how today's issues have been regarded and handled in years and decades past. If ready resolution of the current debate is unlikely to be achieved by such a retrospective examination, at least the matter is put in perspective. Partisans on both sides may be reminded that similar battles have been fought before, that public, political, and administrative opinion has shifted over tine, and that no side has held a perpetual monopoly on wisdom. It is not the purpose of a history like this one to arrive at or even to recommend specific solutions, but rather to provide a broader context within which program managers can address today's concerns.
Barry Mackintosh, History Division
National Park Service
Department of the Interior
In the January 2016 Hart Research poll, 55 percent of all respondents self-reported that they had visited a national park, monument, or other area in the past three years, but only 32 percent of African American respondents and 47 percent of Hispanic respondents said the same thing. Fifty-nine percent of white respondents, meanwhile, said they had visited the National Park System in the past three years. NPS’ most recent visitation survey on racial and ethnic diversity, taken in 2009, shows similar discrepancies. The survey found that 78 percent of park visitors were white, while only 9 percent were Hispanic, 7 percent were African American, 3 percent were Asian, and 1 percent were American Indian/Alaska Native, well below their representation in the U.S. population.
According to the Hart Research poll, only 39 percent of Americans with incomes below $40,000 reported visiting the National Park System in the past three years. However, that number shoots up to 59 percent and 66 percent for those with incomes from $40,000 to $75,000 and more than $75,000, respectively.