The National Park Service (NPS) is proposing to charge an expanded amenity fee to support the vehicle reservation system for the Cadillac Summit Road at Acadia National Park beginning in May 2021. The total fee for each vehicle reservation would be $6, with $4 allocated to NPS operational and capital costs, and $2 allocated to administrative costs for Recreation.gov, which is the contracted online reservation service provider.
The NPS is seeking input from the public on the proposed vehicle reservation fee. A 30-day public comment period will be open from January 12 through February 11, 2021. Comments should be submitted through the NPS Planning, Environment, and Public Comment website.
"The vehicle reservation fee is key to supporting the park staff and infrastructure needed to operate the system safely and efficiently," said Superintendent Kevin Schneider. "Visitors accessing the Cadillac Summit Road during peak use times will benefit from having assurance that they will find parking and have a more enjoyable experience."
The vehicle reservation fee will not go into effect for commercial tour operators that hold a valid Commercial Use Authorization until 2022, but they will be required to have a vehicle reservation and pay a $2 administrative fee for each reservation in 2021.
The vehicle reservation fee for the Cadillac Summit Road is in addition to the park entrance fee. A valid park entrance pass is required for entry to the park while the vehicle reservation system allocates limited parking space on the Cadillac Summit Road during peak use times to ensure visitors have a safe, enjoyable visit.
The NPS developed the vehicle reservation system to improve the visitor experience, and protect park resources and values. The vehicle reservation system is a key management action of the park's Transportation Plan and Environmental Impact Statement, which was approved in May 2019, following a four-year planning process that included extensive public involvement.
After piloting the vehicle reservation system at the Cadillac Summit Road and Sand Beach Entrance in October 2020, the NPS decided to implement vehicle reservations for the Cadillac Summit Road between sunrise and sunset from May to October in 2021. Vehicle reservations provide a timed entry, but do not require a departure time. Pedestrians and bicyclists do not require a reservation to access the Cadillac Summit Road. For more information about the vehicle reservation system, please visit: https://www.nps.gov/acad/planyourvisit/vehicle_reservations.htm
The expanded amenity fee is authorized by the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act of 2004 (16 U.S.C. 6802) and requires that the public have opportunities to participate in the development of, or change to, a recreation fee established under the Act.
John T Kelly, Management Assistant