Nevada state park fees expected to climb in Nevada | NevadaAppeal.com

Nevada state park fees expected to climb in Nevada

(AP) – Nevada officials are considering raising the cost of entrance fees and season passes for state parks.

The division drafted an emergency regulation to increase the fees after the Legislature directed it to raise money to help offset a reduction in the state general fund.

Entrance fees will increase by $1 to $2 statewide to bring in more than $1 million, said Allen Biaggi, director of the Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

“This will keep our parks operational,” he told the Las Vegas Sun.

The fee increases must be approved by Gov. Jim Gibbons and a legislative committee before they take effect.

Biaggi said he wants the higher fees to take effect as soon as possible to take advantage of increased attendance during the summer travel season.

The parks division oversees 13 state parks or recreation areas in northern Nevada and 11 in southern Nevada. Some parks offer camping and others are only day-use facilities.

Among those affected are Berlin-Ichthyosaur and Dayton state parks in the north, and Valley of Fire and Cathedral Gorge state parks in the south.

In a related move, the state Board of Museum and History voted Friday to raise admission fees by 35 percent at state museums statewide.

The seven museums also will no longer hold free admission days or offer discounts such as reduced rates for senior citizens.

Peter Barton, acting administrator of the Nevada Division of Museums and History, said the goal is to raise about $200,000 next fiscal year to keep the programs operational. There is a $70,000 shortfall this year.

This is the second time museums have been hit by the budget crunch. After the 2009 Legislature, officials had only enough money to operate them four days a week, not the traditional six or seven days.

Information from: Las Vegas Sun, http://www.lasvegassun.com