Just what is a geezer pass and how do I get one? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-01-2014, 04:45 PM   #1
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Just what is a geezer pass and how do I get one?

Ok,

So I know I can get a senior pass for the national forest campgrounds, but as I read through so many camping blogs these days, people always refer to their geezer pass. I'm assuming its a senior pass. Do states give these? Individual campgrounds? What other ways can we save on campground fees? Thanks folks, a newbie here. Learning the ropes!

Karen
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Old 03-01-2014, 04:56 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum. The card is just federal although some state parks will give a discount and will use it to verify age. There is a list of locations to get the pass or for an extra $10 you can order one. Best deal out there. Enjoy, Raz

America the Beautiful - National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass
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Old 03-01-2014, 05:04 PM   #3
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Now called the Senior Pass, it was formerly the Golden Age Pass (or Passport), & was originally free for U.S. citizens age 62 & older. Now it costs $10 (non-expiring lifetime pass) & can be obtained at most participating Federal Recreation facilities. They are good for entrance to most all Federal recreation facilities that charge entrance or amenities fees & all National Parks, Monuments, etc. Also good for discount (up to half) on camping fees at most NP campgrounds, National Forest campgrounds, National Wildlife Refuges, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, & many Corp of Engineers campgrounds, as well as some state facilities. You can also get 'em by mail but they tack on an extra $10 fee for paperwork so it's better to get 'em in person if you're at or near a National Park or some other Federal Recreation facility that issues them. Google Senior Pass for lots of info on it...
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Old 03-01-2014, 05:05 PM   #4
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Just try to use it at MT Rushmore when you go to park. Yes you get into Rushmore for free but they rip you off to park. Just another wrong.

Here's another: Bought a jacket at Yellowstone that had a tag on it stating "Proudly Designed in the U.S.A. After I purchased it when I looked on the inside "Made in China".
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Old 03-01-2014, 05:10 PM   #5
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You can usually get your National Parks Senior Pass at the entrance the first time you need one. I don't know of any other juristrictions that accept them for any discounts.
For most Federal sites it gets you free entrance and 1/2 price on campsites. But you DON'T get any discounts on vendor operated stuff like tours etc. unless that particular vendor offers one.

BTW: I find the "G" word to be as objectionable as the waitress that refers to us as "You Kids". To me, that's a code phrase for "No Tip Wanted" and I comply.....
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Old 03-01-2014, 05:36 PM   #6
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Both Darwin & Bob are correct. Concessionaires are NOT required to participate in the Senior Pass program for their privately operated amenities. Some do, many don't, for instance the parking concession at Mt Rushmore, & other privately operated concessions at many locations. I've PO'd some attendants at various NP locations, particularly at Mt Rushmore several years ago. We were in a slow moving line to the parking area so when we got to the booth & the attendant demanded $12 I told him I was just looking for a place to turn around so he pointed out how I could drive through the lot to the exit which I did. We'd already seen the 'faces' & only stopped that time 'cause it was 'on our way' toward home... We did pull off into a 'lay by' a few yards down the mountain & go some good pix.
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Old 03-01-2014, 06:10 PM   #7
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Yes, the Golden Geezer pass is a federally issued discount card for those over 62. There also is a Handicap card. America the Beautiful is available to everyone else, with a fee, of course.

The rules for using them are quite clear IF you are using a facility or an area that is actually run by federal employees. If you are visiting a federal campground or day use area operated by a concessionaire, the lines are very blurred.

Be aware that by contract, the concessionaire is NOT required to recognize any of these passes and has the option to charge full pop for a site or day use fee. While most do the right thing and offer the federal discount *Because it's the right thing to do*. Some do not. Thousand Trails is the first of these concessionaires that come to mind, unless they have changed in the passed few years. They operate some forest service facilities as well as their own private parks. None that I know of recognize the generalized America The Beautiful pass, only senior and disabled.

I have been fortunate enough to work only for concessionaires that recognize the pass for camping, however, one I work for did not for day use.

Before everyone gets in a frazzle over that, I can see the view from both sides. I don't necessarily agree with this "option" 100%, but I also see the other side.

On one hand, most folks believe that their tax dollar has already paid for the "toilet paper", a term I use that's all encompassing for running a facilty. It has not. You will still pay a camping or day use fee at a developed (IE: it has bathrooms, picnic tables and fire rings..and usually a water source) Your camping fee helps maintain those things above and beyond the general tax dollar..which is spread mighty thin across the forest.

When a concessionaire operates these facilities instead of federal employees, they pay for all the labor and upkeep..pumping, maintenance, cleaning etc. The forest service does not. Tax dollars never enter the equation, except to pay the Special Use Permit Administrator at the Forest in question.

The forest service has basically washed their hands of recreational activities in the forest. They focus on other things such as roads, timber sales, law enforcement, fire suppression and education etc. (This is a short list)

I can see (And have seen first hand) that folks might get upset that their pass is worthless at lots of places. The issuing agencies should be more clear about the limitations of these passes in certain areas. They never mention this "dirty little secret".
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Old 03-01-2014, 06:16 PM   #8
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When you make reservations on-line for the Fed. campgrounds you have to enter your senior pass card# to get your discount. When you check in you are suppose to show an ID with your senior pass card. With state campgrounds each state has different policies. In Fla. state campgrounds you have to be a state citizen to get a senior discount. In Va. there is no senior discounts.
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Old 03-01-2014, 06:24 PM   #9
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The discounts are VERY confusing. There are separate cards for federal (Forest Service, National Parks, BLM, Corp of Engineers) Oddly, they do NOT recognize veterans (????)

State Parks
County Parks
Fish and Wildlife parking, as well as individual Federal National Forest parking passes.

NONE of them translate to each other!

I have to explain this all summer to folks. I get their frustration.

to add to the confusion this year, folks in Colorado and Washington will be in for a rude surprise when they get ticketed for smoking trendy herbal amusements openly in federal parks. The National forest is federal jurisdiction, and it is NOT legal to smoke or posses there, regardless of state laws.
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Old 03-01-2014, 06:37 PM   #10
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I'm philosophically opposed to/refuse to use senior discounts since costs are just passed down to those under the age of "qualification". Which age I've reached, by the way.


I think such passes should instead be issued to families with children since that's the population most squeezed by today's economy.
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Old 03-01-2014, 07:54 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Francesca Knowles View Post
I'm philosophically opposed to/refuse to use senior discounts since costs are just passed down to those under the age of "qualification". Which age I've reached, by the way.
I've always seen senior discounts as a thank you for working hard, paying the bills, and providing for the next generation. Raz


p.s. Oh, and I'm not quite there yet
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Old 03-01-2014, 09:52 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by P. Raz View Post
I've always seen senior discounts as a thank you for working hard, paying the bills, and providing for the next generation. Raz


p.s. Oh, and I'm not quite there yet
Working hard and paying my own bills is a duty for which I expect no "reward", nor do I anticipate a time when that responsibility will pass to others.

And certainly, my responsibility to provide for the next generation precludes the expectation that I'll make them pay more just so I can pay less; which is what "senior discounts" amount to.
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Old 03-01-2014, 10:05 PM   #13
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Thank You Raz, as well as others that think this way, as a senior on a very fixed income. I have no pay raise,no overtime and no extra income. I fit in the disabled slot so am unable to do any work to help with extras. I do not always use senior discounts,to be honest most of the time I find if I use coupons and other special offers I save more.We like to camp( but must always do so with power) and the senior discounts help us to get out and camp.
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Old 03-01-2014, 10:24 PM   #14
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Enjoy your senior discounts while you can. As the boomer bulge moves into eligibility the perks are disappearing. In BC the free passenger ferry fare ( Mon. - Thurs. ) becomes 50%. Banks are also eliminating senior perks.
There are too many seniors with money and it's starting to cost companies too much.
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