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Communities Near Shenandoah National Park Object to Proposed Fee Increase

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Neighboring communities think the fee increase will hurt tourism Neighboring communities think the fee increase will hurt tourism
Shenandoah National Park Shenandoah National Park
The proposed fee would nearly triple the current price The proposed fee would nearly triple the current price
SHENANDOAH COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) -

Communities that border the Shenandoah National Park are putting pressure on the federal government to back off a proposed fee increase.

That proposal would nearly triple the cost for a carload of visitors to enter the park during peak season.

Waynesboro City Council will consider a resolution on Monday, November 13, at its meeting.

Greene County Supervisors will do the same with this resolution on Tuesday.

They're joining a growing list of communities urging the National Park Service to reconsider the fee increase.

Right now, it costs $25 per vehicle to enter Shenandoah National Park.

The proposed fee hike would raise it to $70 per carload during peak season, which lasts from June to October.

The park service says 80 percent of the entrance fee would go toward making badly needed infrastructure improvements - including roads, bridges, and campgrounds.

Communities surrounding the southern entrance to the park on Afton Mountain worry the enormous fee increase will keep visitors away.

They estimate the park contributes $10 million to the region's economy.

“This is on top of an increase that took effect January 1, 2017, as well, and we think it will seriously impact the number of visitors going into the park which will, in turn, reduce hotel stays, meals eaten, and shopping done in Waynesboro and all the communities that surround the National Park,” says Greg Hitchin, director of Waynesboro Economic Development.

Supervisors in Augusta and Albemarle counties have adopted resolutions against the fee increase.

Staunton City Council did the same last week.

Their opposition will go to the National Park Service public comment section.

Anyone can submit an online comment here on the proposed fee increase through November 23.