National Park Service Waives Some Park Fees
Always wanted to visit Yellowstone or the Grand Canyon? This summer you can do so for free.
The National Park Service will waive park fees on three weekends this summer in an effort to provide affordable vacation options to Americans impacted by the economic downturn.
Under the plan, visitors will not have to pay at the 147 of 391 national park sites that usually charge admission prices during the weekends of June 20-21, July 18-19, and August 15-16, 2009. Park admission prices range from $3 to $25. The waiver does not include other fees for camping, reservations, tours and concessions sales. Other nearby business -- including hotels, restaurants, gift shops and tour operators -- also will offer discounts and promotions.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced the plan today at a press conference at Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio as part of a four-day Midwestern tour by Cabinet secretaries to communities impacted by the auto industry's collapse. Eight Cabinet secretaries and other senior administration officials will visit Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin between today and Friday. Salazar noted that most Americans live less than a day's drive from a national park; the national park system saw more than 275 million visits last year.
Today's announcement follows last month's high-profile, televised announcement that the Park Service will reopen the crown of the Statue of Liberty to visitors on July 4.
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