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$5 cost per find


Bob Rich
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This is my first topic to start. My wife says I should just keep my mouth shut. She's (as usual) probably right, but I won't.

 

I just received notification of a new cache nearby (100 miles): Green River State Park (GC10WZ2) by Utah State Parks. Rated 1/1, a no-trading cache. Just sign the log and take a small souvenir item (with a little catch):

 

a State Park Fee is required to access this cache. The unspecified fee happens to be $5.00! AND, you are encouraged to learn more about their ($70.00) State Park Passes! How does this fit with "Caches perceived of a commercial nature will not be published?" It's apparently all in the perception.

 

While I genuinely appreciate any State Park allowing and in fact supporting geocaching activity within the more picturesque areas of their state, I feel this is an affront to geocaching. I think perhaps they should have offered geocachers the chance to visit their State Parks while finding geocaches free of charge. Then, if that new visit was enjoyable, some might return to fully use the facilities and pay the appropriate fees.

 

This is certainly different from the individual member leaving a cache in a State Park with a notation that a daily fee might/would be due to the park. The cache owner is not profiting from this at all. In this topic instance, Utah is advertising for people to come find their cache at a cost of $5.00. And I'm informed it's up to $9.00 at another park in Utah!

 

What's next? City parks planting caches for a fee to lure you? Maybe private recreational areas like vacation trailer parks? Perhaps Walmart should demand payment for all those LPSs!

 

I guess I'm just upset. The State of Utah is getting into the Geocaching BUSINESS. Want a new find? - Pay us $5.00 or more.

 

What do you think?

 

P.S. As an aside, I was recently asked to voluntarily plant a cache 200 miles away in a Utah State Park because "Utah State Parks" wanted a cache in every State Park. I thought that was a nice gesture of the Utah State Parks. Nowhere was it explained to me that Utah was going to develop a new revenue source: Geocachers. They could periodically plant new caches in all of their parks and charge $5.00 (or $9.00) for each find. Where does Groundspeak stand?

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While I genuinely appreciate any State Park allowing and in fact supporting geocaching activity within the more picturesque areas of their state, I feel this is an affront to geocaching. I think perhaps they should have offered geocachers the chance to visit their State Parks while finding geocaches free of charge. Then, if that new visit was enjoyable, some might return to fully use the facilities and pay the appropriate fees.

The primary argument to allow geocaching is that it's just like any other activity one would do in those parks. As such, we should pay the same fee anyone else using the parks pays. At any rate, it's not commercial. State parks aren't someone's money-making venture.

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There are a number of caches around here that are in state parks. Before they dropped the day use fee, you would have to pay $5. to go to the park. The only way I would look for a cache like that is if I was planning on going to a park for the day anyway.

 

If I planned on a day outing at a park, I could see planning on a park that had one or more caches I hadn't got yet. However, I'm not dedicated enough to pay the $5. just to find a cache.

 

Also it does feel different if the cache owner is the parks, and they are the ones charging. That does give it the feel of a commercial cache. Might be better for the parks to just invite others to hide a cache in their parks.

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What do you think?

 

I think that there are many caches in state, county or local parks that require entrance fees. The people who run this website have determined that these parks aren't commercial enterprises and allow caches in them.

 

You don't have to find every cache. If you don't want to pay the $5, there are plenty of other caches out there.

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it does feel different if the cache owner is the parks

 

Yep. I think that's what OP's beef was... I see it as a necessary evil when you consider some govt agencies (either local, state, nat'l) are limiting or banning caches all together. At least they are open to the idea. It'll be interesting to see if they are just paying lip-service and placing a "token" cache or if they really embrace geocaching as a way to expand their "user base" of patrons.

 

Texas parks passes are like $60 or so and I buy one every year since I'll make enough visits for it make sense economically.

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Park systems and Non Profit areas are normally not considered commercial. The fee isn't specific to the cache. If they charged you to find the cache that may be too much.

 

It's is good practice to say on the cache page that the park has an entrance fee.

 

Thanks to Uxorious, Renegade Knight and other recent replies. I am seeing some opinions that either agree somewhat or vary from mine. I acknowledge all points of view.

 

I just want to reemphasize my original post that to me it seems inappropriate that a State of the Union is getting into the Geocaching game for a fee.

 

I will probably rush out (100 miles) to find this cache, but I am still upset at the idea. I hope that Colorado doesn't catch on to this $5.00 per cache, then the city of Grand Junction at $5.00 per cache, then Mesa County at $5.00 per cache, then the Cemetary at $5.00 per cache, and Sears, and the Mall, etc.

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I think its crossing the line. In order to get this cache you are required to pay. All they care about is bringing people to the park, not the cache.

But how is that different than any other aspect of the park? Would you say, "They don't care about the beach, trees, hiking trails, playground, picnic tables, baseball diamond, soccer field, nature center, fishing dock, farm, and watchtower; they just want you to come to the park"?

 

Edit:

I just want to reemphasize my original post that to me it seems inappropriate that a State of the Union is getting into the Geocaching game for a fee

Okay, looking again, there may be some misunderstanding. Are you saying, when you go to find the cache, they charge an additional $5 just for the cache? Or do you just mean you have to pay the same $5 entrance fee everyone else pays? If the former, then yes, I agree the cache shouldn't be listed on this site, or it at least should say so on the page. If the latter, I stand by my previous statements.

Edited by Dinoprophet
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Okay, looking again, there may be some misunderstanding. Are you saying, when you go to find the cache, they charge an additional $5 just for the cache? Or do you just mean you have to pay the same $5 entrance fee everyone else pays? If the former, then yes, I agree the cache shouldn't be listed on this site, or it at least should say so on the page. If the latter, I stand by my previous statements.

 

Nope I'm not saying that at all. Without all that you mentioned they wouldn't have a park but they would still have the park without the cache. What they are doing is using geocaching.com as free advertisment. <<< thats what upsets me about it

Edited by Team Dubbin
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I just want to reemphasize my original post that to me it seems inappropriate that a State of the Union is getting into the Geocaching game for a fee.

 

just like every other organization it seems - they need the money! They have expenses like road repairs, garbage removal, signage, fencing, and other administrative fees. It sucks - but the government will not fit the bill for these things, so they attempt to suppliment their funding with user fees.

 

I still say its a good idea - better they put a good quality cache in a wonderful spot and ask you to help maintain the area, then not allow any caches within 100km!

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I just want to reemphasize my original post that to me it seems inappropriate that a State of the Union is getting into the Geocaching game for a fee

 

OK, I'm confused. The way I understand the original post is that there is a cache in a park. The state charges a $5 fee to go to their parks. The fee has nothing to do with caching; you would pay it to enter the park just to picnic.

 

How does this translate to "getting into the Geocaching game for a fee?" And why should we as geocachers get a break that other park users don't get? I wouldn't mind it - but I'm not entitled to it any more than any other user.

 

We pay fees to park in the local national forest. It is $5 per day or $30 per year (I think). Fortunately, I'm old enough to get a lifetime pass for $10. No problem - lot's of caches and lots of other fun in the forest.

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Okay, looking again, there may be some misunderstanding. Are you saying, when you go to find the cache, they charge an additional $5 just for the cache? Or do you just mean you have to pay the same $5 entrance fee everyone else pays? If the former, then yes, I agree the cache shouldn't be listed on this site, or it at least should say so on the page. If the latter, I stand by my previous statements.

 

Nope I'm not saying that at all.

Sorry, I meant to address the OP with the later addition to that post.

 

Without all that you mentioned they wouldn't have a park but they would still have the park without the cache. What they are doing is using geocaching.com as free advertisment.

The cache is just another feature of the park. No different than if they added a playground. If they're using gc.com as free advertising, then that's gc.com's "problem", if they consider it such, which they clearly don't.

 

I can't speak for this cache, but the park-owned caches near me were most certainly not "free advertising". Huron-Clinton Metroparks have thrown geocaching events complete with food and prizes at no charge (other than the entrance fee, how awful!), spent hundreds of dollars and hours setting up annual multicaches, given away hundreds of free passes to geocachers, and distributed loads of cool swag in their hides. Oakland County Parks has done the same. They didn't start out that way, but the great response to their early efforts has encouraged them to enhance their participation. We might try that approach rather than getting annoyed at the parks for hiding caches.

Edited by Dinoprophet
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In the West, most parks that charge a fee charge it on the car. If I didn't have the 5 extra bucks in my pocket I've parked outside the park, hiked in, got the cache and went home happy.

 

My real beef is with them using GC.com for free advertisment. Just look at the cache page... We have a park over here that has a couple caches and the entire cache page is just one big advertisment and says NOTHING about the cache.

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...If they charge $5 to just walk through the gate, how could it not be considered commercial?

The difference between commerical and non-commercial isn't the money at the gate. It's what you do, why you do it, and how you go about it. You still have costs regardless of a commerical or non commercial nature.

 

The difference would show up at the gate like this:

 

If the park was commercial, they would stamp your hand and charge by the person in order to maximize profits. If you happened to float in on the river and stop for lunch, security would stop by and chat with you about how it's really not appropriate for you to be there without paying.

 

If the park was non commercial they would charge by the car (cause it's easier) and let people walk in for free who didn't have a car. If you happened to float in on the river and stop for lunch, they would not mind and would probably join you and talk about fishing and when they were going to make that rafting trip themselves.

 

Both can love the park they build, but the goals are different. For this site things are simplified by the simple and easy to check yardstick. If profit is part of the equation it's commercial.

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I am not concerned about this being a commercial cache. It is a state park and we don't consider those a "commercial" venture.

 

However, the lisiting page is nothing more than an advertisment about park fees and passes - that is why I think it very barley crosses over the line.

 

If it simply mentioned a fee for the park and talked about the park - I would feel better about it. The fee isn't the issue to me - the blantent advertisment for park passes is.

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Here's a direct link. I kept closing the window then having to search again.

 

Big graphic about a the parks' 50th anniversary and a "statewide geocache adventure". A paragraph about the park with a link if you want to know more. A paragraph about the cache. Bullets about the fees and when the cache is available. Looks like every well-done cache page I've ever seen. The cache includes souvenirs, State Parks coupons, and a special State Parks 50th Anniversary geocoin. You're asked to take only. What greedy scum to place such a thing.

Edited by Dinoprophet
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I don't see anything wrong with the fee in and of itself, but after reading some of the posts and taking a good look at the cache page, it does appear to me to be a little commercial. I mean it's not like the rangers hid this cache and said, "Oh BTW it's in the State Park and there's a fee." This is the Park using GC for advertisement purposes.

 

Here's one in a State Park (GCGR3W) hidden by the rangers done in the non-commercial way.

 

However it seems like a great cache. And if this trend continues and we all get some good caching out of it, what's the harm.

 

Edit: But heck commercial or not, I'd go hunt it anyway.

Edited by Totem Clan
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I couldn't disagree more with the complaints on this cache.

 

What you have is a State Park system that is EMBRACING Geocaching when many others are putting policies in place AGAINST it. They are hiding caches in each of thier parks (if I recall correctly from another thread), and are stocking the cache with items for people to take without trading.

 

With all of the complaints about:

- people not trading even

- junk in caches

- places we CAN'T cache

- having run-in's with LE and Park Rangers, etc.

 

this is really something to complain about? I opened the cache page and expected to find it over-the-top commercial. It's not even close. It's a cache, in a State Park, placed by the State Park which charges a fee to use the park, not find the cache. And yes, they provided a link to information about how to buy a park Pass.

 

If the parks in California did this I'd be jumping for joy.

 

If you want to see commercial, head over the Geocoin forums. :ph34r:

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From the OP again:

 

Here's my take on the cache in question (GC10WZ2):

 

1. Help in a State-wide Geocache adventure to celebrate Utah's 50 years . . . (if you want to drive in, pay $5.00)

2. Find a cache we placed (to lure you here) - $5.00 day use fee. No trading, just sign log. Take a souvenir.

3. Stop back often (and pay more fees) and possibly receive more souvenirs, coupons, and special Geocoin

4. Learn about ($70.00) State Park Passes

5. Accept the challenge of . . . golf ($25.00 additional).

 

To me, that's using Geocaching and Groundspeak solely to further their agenda which almost certainly requires collecting fees for their efforts. It is entirely different than a member placing a sole (or several) caches in state/federal lands that may require an access fee.

 

My original post is/was intended to solicit opinions about caches that are intended primarily to provide fees to the owners in order to come onto their property and perhaps to additionally solicit more business.

 

Personally I very much enjoy caches placed in State Parks, and will always pay fees associated with my visit. But I am opposed to the direction the above cache is taking in the government's solicitation offering a geocache for a fee. Should we allow these GeoPimps?

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It helps to not interject your opinions into the cache details (meaning the comments in quotes in your above post).

 

It's been said numerous times before - they are not charging for geocaching anymore than they are charging for hiking or picnicking (sp?).

 

Personally, I think it's a wise move that they have discovered a group of people who enjoy the park and are doing something to cater to them and get involved in the activity. And think of the outcry it would cause if they didn't mention the park fees.

 

People would post: "got near the cache but didn't realize I had to pay a park fee - that should really be stated on the cache page..."

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I am not concerned about this being a commercial cache. It is a state park and we don't consider those a "commercial" venture.

 

We had a cache shut down that was on a beautiful boardwalk and the restaurant owner had the cache up on a ledge in the establishment. It was a very cool location, but it got archived because it was considered a commercial establishment. Even though you could walk in, grab the cache and walk out without having to spend a dime.

 

Somehow when the government is involved, it's not commercial? They charge $5 just to enter the park. Why is this not considered commercial. Many have stated that it is not, but I want to know why it's not. It would be like hiding a cache in a bi-mart (you have to pay $2 for a pass just to get into the store).. There is no way GC would allow that. Although the scenary is much nicer at the state park.

 

What's the difference?

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I'm flip flopping more here than Congressman in late October, but the more think about it, the less I can find wrong with it. Yes it is kinda commercial, but we as cachers are getting as much or more out of it as the Park system is. If you're going to go there for other caches, why not let them hide another one for you.

I would be screaming foul if this was a business or a private park, but this is a public park. In a way we're paying ourselves. It's our park. Or least it the people of Utah's park.

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I'm flip flopping more here than Congressman in late October, but the more think about it, the less I can find wrong with it. Yes it is kinda commercial, but we as cachers are getting as much or more out of it as the Park system is. If you're going to go there for other caches, why not let them hide another one for you.

I would be screaming foul if this was a business or a private park, but this is a public park. In a way we're paying ourselves. It's our park. Or least it the people of Utah's park.

 

I doubt very much of the entrance fees goes to the park.. I would bet the majority is typical government waste. So, really not that much different than than a commercial venture. To think that because it's the government, that the money is going towards something good is really naive. Commercial organizations have always been more efficient with money than government, so a private park would probably put the money to better use than a government run organization.

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I'm flip flopping more here than Congressman in late October, but the more think about it, the less I can find wrong with it. Yes it is kinda commercial, but we as cachers are getting as much or more out of it as the Park system is. If you're going to go there for other caches, why not let them hide another one for you.

I would be screaming foul if this was a business or a private park, but this is a public park. In a way we're paying ourselves. It's our park. Or least it the people of Utah's park.

 

I doubt very much of the entrance fees goes to the park.. I would bet the majority is typical government waste. So, really not that much different than than a commercial venture. To think that because it's the government, that the money is going towards something good is really naive. Commercial organizations have always been more efficient with money than government, so a private park would probably put the money to better use than a government run organization.

Well that government waste could be derived from your paycheck instead of an entrance fee. I'd say that's a difference. If they take it out of your pay check or via sale/property tax you have no choice. At least here you do. :ph34r:

Edited by Totem Clan
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I just received notification of a new cache nearby (100 miles): Green River State Park (GC10WZ2) by Utah State Parks. Rated 1/1, a no-trading cache. Just sign the log and take a small souvenir item (with a little catch):

a State Park Fee is required to access this cache. The unspecified fee happens to be $5.00!

 

I am surprised you begrudge the $5 to maintain a park more than the $20+ dollars to the oil companies and Middle Eastern countries:

 

100 * 2 / 20 * 2.25

 

-WR

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I just received notification of a new cache nearby (100 miles): Green River State Park (GC10WZ2) by Utah State Parks. Rated 1/1, a no-trading cache. Just sign the log and take a small souvenir item (with a little catch):

a State Park Fee is required to access this cache. The unspecified fee happens to be $5.00!

 

I am surprised you begrudge the $5 to maintain a park more than the $20+ dollars to the oil companies and Middle Eastern countries:

 

100 * 2 / 20 * 2.25

 

-WR

Is this the wrong place to mention that not everyone buys fuel that came from oil companies or the middle east?

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Commercial caches attempt to use the Geocaching.com web site cache reporting tool directly or indirectly (intentionally or non-intentionally) to solicit customers through a Geocaching.com listing. These are NOT permitted. Examples include for-profit locations that require an entrance fee, or locations that sell products or services.

 

The key words in that section of the listing guidelines are for-profit. A state park is not a for-profit venture, unlike say, Disneyland. They're mentioning the fee for park use. It's not a fee to find the cache, it's a fee to enter the park.

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Sounds to me like Utah is encouraging geocaching as another activity that can be done at the State Parks. So what if they used the cache page to talk about the other activities you can do as well for the same $5 fee. My question is whether they allow individuals to hide caches at the State Park or must the caches be place by Utah State Parks? If they allow individuals to hide a cache do they require a permit? I hope they don't charge for it if they do. In fact they should waive the $5 day use fee for anyone who hides a cache in the State Park because the state will recoup that from all the new visitors who come to the park to find that geocache :ph34r:

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A little off-topic, but chew this over. How much would you spend if you attended, say, a monthly "BEER & WINGS" Geocaching Meet & Greet Event at a local watering hole with your spouse? I bet it would be more like $30 or $40 for THAT smiley!

 

I could also tell you a story about a city Parks employee who joined GC.com specifically to post city-sponsored geocaching events that cost $5.00 each to attend. By the third such event, the local geocaching community gave a huge HO-HUM, and the event was cancelled because NOBODY signed up to attend.

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Don't see where it's a commercial geocaching venture here.

 

Then you didn't look at the cache page. There is absolutely no reason for them to place this cache other then getting free advertisment for the park and getting paid for it.

 

That's a pretty bold statement (that (s)he didn't look at the cache page). I did and see nothing wrong with it.

 

Why do others place caches there? To bring people to the park.

They are doing the same thing, have obviosuly worked with Groundspeak, or at least a reviewer, and the cache passed the test.

 

Is this really an issue with this cache or is this "I hate everything about government and this is the next issue I can complain about"?

 

Let them have their opinion, too.

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I'm flip flopping more here than Congressman in late October, but the more think about it, the less I can find wrong with it. Yes it is kinda commercial, but we as cachers are getting as much or more out of it as the Park system is. If you're going to go there for other caches, why not let them hide another one for you.

I would be screaming foul if this was a business or a private park, but this is a public park. In a way we're paying ourselves. It's our park. Or least it the people of Utah's park.

 

I doubt very much of the entrance fees goes to the park.. I would bet the majority is typical government waste. So, really not that much different than than a commercial venture. To think that because it's the government, that the money is going towards something good is really naive. Commercial organizations have always been more efficient with money than government, so a private park would probably put the money to better use than a government run organization.

Well that government waste could be derived from your paycheck instead of an entrance fee. I'd say that's a difference. If they take it out of your pay check or via sale/property tax you have no choice. At least here you do. :ph34r:

 

That's true. I personally think they should use the money they are already taking from my paycheck to maintain the parks. If they weren't such wasters, they'd be able to do that. It seems like every turn you take you get nickel and dimed to use services that should be free for us to use.

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