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Old 12-17-2016, 10:10 PM   #1
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Count the cost(and the intent)

We look forward to the rallies every year and our favorites often involve friends to our north.
We are now considering a fun trip this Spring to Wisconsin where the rally is in a beautiful place. When considering our visit...

At first glance we are up to $125 for four nights. for a site valued at $13 per night. (assuming that the reservation fee is not per night)

I could not find it on the fee schedule but the last time I went to a Wisconsin Park they charged a $2 per night additional fee for out of state campers.

They also now charge 5% sales tax on all prices, even stickers, which they insist be permanently attached to to my vehicle. There is also an extra $10 fee for stickers for out of state buyers.

.The last two Wisconsin state parks that we stayed in showed no evidence of Mosquito mitigation.
All-in I am looking at possibly as much as $140 dollars for four night's stay with electricity only. Of course that yearly pass is really only good for a few months.
They also charge $25 for a trailpass for bicycling.($50 if we both ride)
A yearly trail pass is a separate fee from a park pass.
All of these fees have proposed increases and are expected to rise.
Wisconsin public lands have effectively been made off limits to out of state visitors. It could be worse, you could visit Michigan.
In both of these states, many private campgrounds offer better facilities and better values without the ridiculous arcane fee schedules.

If we would go to Wisconsin for one day to ride a bike path and stay overnight at a state park(with the hope of returning)the cost would be over $115.
While a parkpass does not allow trail access, you must also have one to park at the trailhead... in addition to the trailpass.

I have used conservative figures, since I found articles which reflected higher fees in some cases. If we decide to go to a place where we are welcomed by friends but shunned by the host state, I will report back on the actual figures upon my return.
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Old 12-17-2016, 11:20 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by floyd View Post
We look forward to the rallies every year and our favorites often involve friends to our north.
We are now considering a fun trip this Spring to Wisconsin where the rally is in a beautiful place. When considering our visit...

At first glance we are up to $125 for four nights. for a site valued at $13 per night. (assuming that the reservation fee is not per night)

I could not find it on the fee schedule but the last time I went to a Wisconsin Park they charged a $2 per night additional fee for out of state campers.

They also now charge 5% sales tax on all prices, even stickers, which they insist be permanently attached to to my vehicle. There is also an extra $10 fee for stickers for out of state buyers.

.The last two Wisconsin state parks that we stayed in showed no evidence of Mosquito mitigation.
All-in I am looking at possibly as much as $140 dollars for four night's stay with electricity only. Of course that yearly pass is really only good for a few months.
They also charge $25 for a trailpass for bicycling.($50 if we both ride)
A yearly trail pass is a separate fee from a park pass.
All of these fees have proposed increases and are expected to rise.
Wisconsin public lands have effectively been made off limits to out of state visitors. It could be worse, you could visit Michigan.
In both of these states, many private campgrounds offer better facilities and better values without the ridiculous arcane fee schedules.

If we would go to Wisconsin for one day to ride a bike path and stay overnight at a state park the cost would be over $115.
While a parkpass does not allow trail access, you must also have one to park at the trailhead... in addition to the trailpass.

I have used conservative figures, since I found articles which reflected higher fees in some cases. If we decide to go to a place where we are welcomed by friends but shunned by the host state, I will report back on the actual figures upon my return.
Floyd , I fully agree with you . It is obvious that Wisconsin does not want tourism but to be fair they don't treat their resident much better.
Last year we went on a 4 day camping trip with my daughter and her family Even though we live in Wisconsin it was cheaper to go to Michigan . The camping fees were less ,the park pass was cheaper , the park had better facilities and there wasn't additional fees tacked on to everything or every activity .
Wisconsin Parks used to have programs for kids but they have been cut or eliminated , while Michigan continues to have programs for children
Wisconsin State Parks are purposely being allowed to decay while at the same time they are pricing them selves out of existence .
If all goes as planned state parks will soon be a distant memory in Wisconsin .
Things like this don't happen by accident.
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Old 12-18-2016, 07:18 AM   #3
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We stopped at an Ontario Provincial Park in Northern Ontario only to find the popular spot mostly abandoned. Most campers there were retirees like ourselves. When we asked a "neighbour" camper about it they remarked that the younger generation can no longer afford to stay and go elsewhere. That's driven the fees higher and soon no one will camp there and these parks will be closed. We paid close to $50 a night for our stay and continued homeward a few days early. During our travels across the prairie provinces on the same trip our fees per night ran between $10-$20. These parks were full and vibrant, with campers of all ages using the facilities.


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Old 12-18-2016, 01:59 PM   #4
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Hi: floyd... Maybe part of the exorbitant charges are for "Mosquito mitigation".
Fees are much nicer than taxes... don't you think eh?
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 12-18-2016, 02:10 PM   #5
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I read yesterday that WI not longer uses State money to support it's State Parks. That is, the State Parks budgets are based 100% on the various fees they charge.

I hope other states do not follow suite, but I expect many more will. My State, TN, has been experimenting with different funding mechanisms over the last decade or so.
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Old 12-18-2016, 02:26 PM   #6
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Certain people in certain state governments (and Fed) would like nothing more than to privatize much of our public lands. I would suppose this includes their state parks and campgrounds to a large extent. On one hand, I agree that the folks who actually use these areas should pay a fair share of the costs. However, even though I almost never use these areas, I love knowing they are there and being properly maintained and they are ready for me at a moments notice. Personally, I have no problem with state and federal parks, campgrounds, forests, etc., etc. being supported largely with tax dollars. Public lands is what makes this country special. But we seem to keep electing people who would just as soon turn them over to corporations in order to balance their budgets.
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Old 12-18-2016, 02:29 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Rzrbrn View Post
I read yesterday that WI not longer uses State money to support it's State Parks. That is, the State Parks budgets are based 100% on the various fees they charge.

I hope other states do not follow suite, but I expect many more will. My State, TN, has been experimenting with different funding mechanisms over the last decade or so.
They also changed the method of financing park maintenance and improvements and not in a way that benefits the parks.

The present administration in Wisconsin has stated publicly that if he had his way the State would sell of is parks and wildlife areas to the highest bidder . It does not bode well for my children or grandchildren
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Old 12-18-2016, 03:48 PM   #8
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If eventual policies are to sell to the highest bidders, one day it'll all be used up and gone. Starts to remind me of Soylent Green.


Let's get out there and camp while we still can! And take the kids so they at least know some of what once was.


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Old 12-18-2016, 03:53 PM   #9
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From what I have seen planning a few outings
in 2017 it appears most of the State Parks have
all sorts of extra fees. At least Wisconsin doesn't
charge you to drive on our roads (yet) hope to
see you at Blackhawk Lake Flyod.
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Old 12-18-2016, 04:39 PM   #10
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Maybe the Wisconsin state parks will soon need to start offering free wine and cheese tasting to draw in some campers!

I am surprised to hear of the bicycle trail fee; is that a new development? About 5 or 6 years ago IIRC, I parked just outside the entrance to Peninsula SP in WI and was able to ride a bicycle through the entrance without any fee. I rode all over the park for the next 3 hours, free of charge.

I guess y'all can find a warmer welcome at Oklahoma state parks. No entrance fee, no other special fees. Rustic camping runs about $14 per night, and hookups will get you into the $20-$25 range. Age 62+ gets you a $2 discount. Not sure what the reservation fee will cost; I never make 'em, and besides that most of the campsites are first-come.
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Old 12-18-2016, 05:15 PM   #11
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Maybe it comes down to whether you are a capitalist, of a socialist.
If you want nice public parks, someone has to pay the piper.
I'm sure we would all agree that free entry would be nice, in which case the taxpayers (governments) would foot the bill.
On the other hand, as it is in WI., the users pay the price.
In a socialist system, perhaps, the park users and campers woud have to do all the maintenance and repair work.

If things are low priced, some folks would say, "If that's all it costs --- it can't be worth much".
It seems to be the American way to think that anything of value has to have a high price tag.
All in all, we hope to see you at Blackhawk.
WC
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Old 12-18-2016, 05:21 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by TomandCallie View Post
Certain people in certain state governments (and Fed) would like nothing more than to privatize much of our public lands. I would suppose this includes their state parks and campgrounds to a large extent. On one hand, I agree that the folks who actually use these areas should pay a fair share of the costs. However, even though I almost never use these areas, I love knowing they are there and being properly maintained and they are ready for me at a moments notice. Personally, I have no problem with state and federal parks, campgrounds, forests, etc., etc. being supported largely with tax dollars. Public lands is what makes this country special. But we seem to keep electing people who would just as soon turn them over to corporations in order to balance their budgets.
Privatization in Wisconsin is not the issue...
Public bureaucracy just manages at an abysmal level of efficiency. Consider that private Campgrounds can offer more for less while paying taxes on the land, the facility improvements, the income derived, even the water used for showers. AND they don't punish tourism which brings more income to the area.

(C'MON!! sales tax on on a fee sticker??)
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Old 12-18-2016, 06:07 PM   #13
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Maybe it comes down to whether you are a capitalist, or a socialist.
If you want nice public parks, someone has to pay the piper.
I'm sure we would all agree that free entry would be nice, in which case the taxpayers (governments) would foot the bill.
On the other hand, as it is in WI., the users pay the price.
In a socialist system, perhaps, the park users and campers woud have to do all the maintenance and repair work.

If things are low priced, some folks would say, "If that's all it costs --- it can't be worth much".
It seems to be the American way to think that anything of value has to have a high price tag.
All in all, we hope to see you at Blackhawk.
WC
It is truely a stretch to conflate publicly funded parks and roads with a government based on national socialism, just as it is a stretch to conflate public ownership of parks and road rights of way with communism. You know I'm no National Socialist. (hail to victory!)

The point comes down to competence, and in this case perhaps a government pretense at capitalism (truly an oxymoron or perhaps only a contradiction)
A government fee structure is a tax... nothing more, nothing less.
(except that often a fee is not the result of actual legislation)
So my comment has nothing to do with our form of government.
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Old 12-18-2016, 07:04 PM   #14
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Alabama Has just passes legislation to rebuild some state parks and allow private vendors ro run them again and hull them out for us like they did the last time.
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Old 12-18-2016, 07:31 PM   #15
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Alabama Has just passes legislation to rebuild some state parks and allow private vendors ro run them again and hull them out for us like they did the last time.
But that same law allows the parks to keep their gate receipts without the state legislators raiding the Park System bank account to make up for losses in the State's general fund. So it's not all bad. I still think that whole private vendor thing was put into the law just so the State can farm out the management of the new state conference center being built at Gulf State Park - probably some quid pro quo to appease high-dollar developers who were drooling at the thought of acquiring Gulf State Park's miles of prime coastal real estate to develop privately after Hurricane Ivan tore the place up so badly back in 2004. But the law still may have opened the proverbial Pandora's Box with consequences far beyond it's intent. Time will tell....
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Old 12-18-2016, 08:03 PM   #16
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I refuse to discuss politics, ever. The only thing I can add to this thread is YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU. So, you go to a gathering that you've never attended and IT'S EXPENSIVE. OR, you budget fuel costs and go to a setting you've NEVER BEEN TO. You've made memories. Your budget isn't my budget and your memories won't be mine. BUT make those memories that will last you forever and enjoy every flippin' minute because they may NEVER pass this way again...
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Old 12-18-2016, 08:35 PM   #17
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I refuse to discuss politics, ever. The only thing I can add to this thread is YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU. So, you go to a gathering that you've never attended and IT'S EXPENSIVE. OR, you budget fuel costs and go to a setting you've NEVER BEEN TO. You've made memories. Your budget isn't my budget and your memories won't be mine. BUT make those memories that will last you forever and enjoy every flippin' minute because they may NEVER pass this way again...
Thanks Donna,,,!
I was about to start whinning too but your post woke me up.
We didn't go on our annual trip to SoCal in 2016 because our dollar was
hurtin so bad against yours. Almost the same this year but we booked anyway because I realized after workin for 50 years,,, I'm gonna start getting younger when?
Fred
Plus I lost a dear friend in oct. that was gonna live forever in my eyes.
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Old 12-18-2016, 09:25 PM   #18
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Public lands belong to you and I and are we not paying taxes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TomandCallie View Post
Certain people in certain state governments (and Fed) would like nothing more than to privatize much of our public lands. I would suppose this includes their state parks and campgrounds to a large extent. On one hand, I agree that the folks who actually use these areas should pay a fair share of the costs. However, even though I almost never use these areas, I love knowing they are there and being properly maintained and they are ready for me at a moments notice. Personally, I have no problem with state and federal parks, campgrounds, forests, etc., etc. being supported largely with tax dollars. Public lands is what makes this country special. But we seem to keep electing people who would just as soon turn them over to corporations in order to balance their budgets.
:already either USA and or Canada for the Feds, States, Provinces to look after these parks and not gouge us again with fees? I tell my wife I can just about go anywhere in British Columbia and find a nice place to park and not be in a Campground paying high fees with no one closer than maybe 100 miles, I get to see nature first hand, I could if able put a boat into the lake or ocean but I No longer can do this but I would not be paying fees to do this. If campgrounds kept their fees at $30 for all services then I Might consider staying in them occasionally. Most of these campgrounds have been around for many years and have made a good living off of campers. Why should I be paying $45/$50 a night?
Stude
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Old 12-18-2016, 09:38 PM   #19
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I think the Wisconsin State Parks are one of the best deals out there. They have some some of the best outdoor locations for camping I have seen in my travels. I think they have a great staff of dedicated state employees and many have active "friends" organizations.

I much prefer the Wisconsin parks over those of neighboring states, and based on the number of out of state visitors there are a lot of those who agree. I have never balked at paying their fees as I have always associated value with what I received in return.

Now being a resident I do pay fees that are lower than non residents, but I do pay taxes, and substantial ones, to be a resident. I do not find the fees in this state much different than those beautiful provincial parks, where I also find value. Also, the state parks are still better priced when compared to private campgrounds.
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Old 12-19-2016, 08:52 AM   #20
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Count the cost(and the intent)

That's a good counterpoint, Paul. Like real estate, it's about location, location, location.

I happily pay $35/night for a no-hookup site with token hot showers at South Carlsbad State Beach near San Diego, and I'd pay more if I had to. On the other hand, I would resent paying that much for a full-hookup site with free hot showers at a nondescript campground off the freeway for an overnight stop.

Wisconsin's nickel-and-dime approach to add-on fees gives me pause, though. It's depressingly like the major airlines, and the reason I don't fly anywhere Southwest doesn't go.
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