Ozark National Scenic Riverways announces a proposed increase in cave tour fees for the Round Spring Cave and camping fees for the rustic backcountry campgrounds within the park. Additionally, the Jerktail rustic backcountry camping area is proposed to be added as a fee area. The proposed rate increases are necessary in order for park camping fees to remain comparable with local privately owned businesses. The current camping fees have not been raised in the backcountry sites since 2008. In addition, cave tour fees have not been increased since 2003 and are significantly lower than other area caves. The new rates would take effect April 15, 2018.
According to Superintendent Larry Johnson, "Under the current rate structure the camping fees and cave tour fees at Ozark Riverways are lower than some privately operated campgrounds and show caves, and we do not want to undercut these local business owners. This rate increase will help us avoid that, and will also help provide additional funding that will be used for on-going improvements. The installation of the new concrete shower house at Alley Spring campground in July 2017 is just one example of the types of projects that can be accomplished with recreation fee revenue."
Proposed camping fees are as follows:
• Basic Family Backcountry Campsites (limit 6 people) will go from $5.00 to $10.00 a night.
• Cluster Backcountry Campsite at Big Tree (7-20 people) will go from $15.00 to $20.00 a night.
• Round Spring Cave Tours (Adults) will go from $5 to $10
• Round Spring Cave Tours (Child 12 and under) will go from $2 to $5
The existing rustic backcountry campgrounds are located at Big Tree, Grubb, Gooseneck, Bay Creek, Blue Spring, Rymers, Shawnee Creek, Two Rivers Primitive, Logyard, Sinking Creek, Cedar Grove, and Dee Murray.
This rate increase does not apply to front country campgrounds at Alley Spring, Round Spring, Pulltite, Two Rivers and Big Spring, which will remain the same.
Ozark National Scenic Riverways is able to keep the fees collected from our campgrounds and cave tours to use for improvements to visitor facilities and services such as upgrading restroom and shower facilities, maintaining trails, improving campgrounds, and educational programs for students. If you would like to comment on the proposed rate increase, please respond by November 20, 2017 to Lisa Figge at firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone at (573)323-8144, or by the Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) website (select Ozark National Scenic Riverways from the dropdown menu): http://parkplanning.nps.gov
For more information, visit the park's Facebook page, the park's website at www.nps.gov/ozar or phone 573-323-4236.