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$5 cost per find


Bob Rich
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I can't imagine that the revenue from cache seekers is in anyway a significant number for the park. I imagine that the number of cachers in the park is several orders of magnitude smaller than the number of other visitors.

 

Here in N.Y. the parks have admission from memorial day to labor day. You can go in free (unless there is something special going on) the other times of the year. It doesn't pay to staff the parks during muddy spring and winter (we got 3 feet of snow yesterday) and attendance would probably go down to hardly anything if they did charge off season. I do believe the parks need to attract people any way they can. Maybe geocachers do not make up a lot of their revenue, but every little bit helps if it attracts people to the park.

I have seen some local events held in parks and the park camping areas do fill up for these. So, yes, I believe that parks can make money that way.

If I pay to go to a park I pay because I plan on spending the day there, not just to go for geocaching. Don't think I'd pay just to go geocaching. Hate the idea of being nickeled and dime to death.

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I think the topic heading is quite misleading -- they aren't charging you to find the cache, they are charging for entrance to the park. To me this is no different than plugging a parking meter when I hunt for an urban cache. I see nothing wrong with the cache as listed; in fact it sounds like a really good cache and I wish I lived closer because the FTF is still sitting there waiting...

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2hcgcio.jpg

 

You are absolutely correct! And that is exactly what I do.... That doesn't mean it's not an interesting topic to debate. Just because a topic is debated in these forums doesn't mean it's a hot issue out in the field. I'm glad that the real world isn't like in the forums (Don't tell anyone, but if it was a really good cache, I might pony up the $5, but I'd come right back here and complain about it!)

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So the issue is whether a park should use geocaching to lure people. What, then, is the difference between a park allowing caches to be placed and placing caches themselves? They allow caching so that people will come to the park and find caches, and pay the same fees they'd pay for a park-placed cache.

 

Come to think of it, placing their own caches is a downright poor approach, if the goal really is purely revenue. To maximize profits, just allow caching, no forms, no oversight, and let the cachers handle the expense of placing the caches.

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Of all the money that could go to the park, which of it is being wasted? I mean, I have an idea about a few hundred billion dollars that could have been used differently, but there's no way we're all going to agree on that.

 

At the end of the day, the park needs money and one way that they get it is by charging visitors.

 

someone whining about $5 to preserve a park and pay for management of it so it can be used (by them)...

 

in perspective, last I heard a couple years ago, Invading Iraq cost each taxpayer something like $5,000.00 ... which has done nothing but make us all less safe... seems odd that people pick something so insignificant in comparison to complain about.

Edited by Bad_CRC
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I don't go to the park to cache... I go to the cache to park :laughing: .. least that is what my GirlFriend says.

 

Let me see $5 for a happy meal and some McToy or...

$5 get in a park and get free park swag and stop at one other free cache for McToy

 

Seriously though I agree with the many posts in here. We really go to parks anyway for all the other stuff parks have to offer .. if there is a cache that's a bonus

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If the park didn't charge a fee, and still had the same cache page (sans fees), would you still be upset? Most likely the park is placing caches to increase visitation (that's how most parks get funded by the legislature, except in Texas where they actually measure the parks by revenue and then close them because they never make any money).

 

If the park personnel had their druthers, there probably wouldn't be any fees to begin with. The only reason there are fees is because the taxpayers of that state refuse to fully fund their park system. In some states (Pennsylvania leaps to mind), the taxpayers willingly fund the park system, and there aren't any entrance fees. Some taxpayers in some states (say, Wisconsin) try to soak out-of-state people with paying for their parks, charging them twice the fee they charge residents.

 

It's non-commercial because it's public --- it's being done by people you hired that are paid by you (or at least the residents of Utah). If you don't like the way they're running your parks, with fees for caching and hiking and mountain biking, change it. Or move to a state more agreeable.

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I live in South Florida and most of our parks here charge an entrance fee. I have paid up to $8 to get into a park just for a cache. People down here are good about posting that on the cache page. They include park hours, how much the fee is and the days of the week were it may be more, less or even free. This would avoid someone going somewhere and not having the cash or not wanting to pay. I think it would be wrong not to post such vital information, but if it is posted and you want to pay - then go for it. If you don't want to pay, then move on to the next cache.

Edited by anaddicted23
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At the end of the day, the park needs money and one way that they get it is by charging visitors.

At the end of the day, they may need the money, but continually <removed> "Forcibly taking our money" is not the answer.

 

In what way are the parks forcibly taking your money through gate fees? Do rangers come to your house and take you at gunpoint to the park? Hardly. You need only pay the gate fee if you voluntarily choose to enter the park.

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At the end of the day, the park needs money and one way that they get it is by charging visitors.

At the end of the day, they may need the money, but continually <removed> "Forcibly taking our money" is not the answer.

 

In what way are the parks forcibly taking your money through gate fees? Do rangers come to your house and take you at gunpoint to the park? Hardly. You need only pay the gate fee if you voluntarily choose to enter the park.

 

I was not referring to the rangers, but was speaking in general terms. I agree with several posters, if you have a problem with it, just put them on your ignore list and find a different cache. Heaven knows there are plenty of other caches around :D

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I bet that if you checked on the history of that $5 fee, you'd find that it has been in place a LOT longer than the activity of geocaching has been around. We have a similar fee for the state park system here in NYS. It's something like $6 or $7 per carload of people, OR you can purchase a parks pass, which is something like $60 per year. IT'S WORTH IT! Geocaching is about getting out into nature, and the state parks can be some of the most beautiful regions out there. Your $5 goes to help support the park system, which takes a fair bit of money to maintain. If you still feel it's unfair, saying that you don't "use" anything within the park, remember that driving on the pavement does add to the road wear...those bathrooms use electricity to run the water pumps and light the rooms....and that SOMEBODY has empty all those trash containers, else the garbage would be everywhere. This is all without considering the rangers who maintain both animal and "human animal" control, helping to make your geocache experience as safe as possible in the great outdoors.

 

Just my 2 cents worth...but then again, I buy the park pass every year.

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since the op wants to use the services of the park, drive into it, park his car on a nice parking lot, walk on a maintained trail to near the cache, but not pay any fee for this service, which obviously takes money, he must be advocating that his state should just take the whole cost from the state budget and raise taxes for everyone.

 

As someone who loves the outdoors and parks, I'd be fine with this, but I'm also fine with the current system in his (and my) state which gets much of the operating budget from entrance and camping fees.

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looks like a commercial cache to me. also looks like the type of commercial cache geocaching.com would allow, like the diabetes tb's. much better commercial cache in my opinion than the ones advertising some stoopid movie.

 

so, yes it looks like a commercial cahe, no i don't have any problem with it being such (in this case).

not being able to trade stuff is odd, but maybe geocaching could make a new cache type - State Park Cache - with its own icon, for caches placed by state parks dept's all over the country.

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Not commercial, since no park I know of is making a profit on a $5 entrance fee.

Rant time:

As a park supervisor, I gotta say Jeremy was dead on about parks and recreation usually getting the short end of the stick at budget time.

I'm personally responsible for about 100 acres of park lands, 30 acres of athletic fields, plus all the school and municipal building grounds. Our share of the annual municipal budget is only about 2-3 times the median income of a person living in our town. Most of our operating expenses are actually from user fees, donations and grants.

The voters here have no problems buying $50,000 SUVs and $8000 big screen TVs, but get them to approve a budget increase to cover rising energy costs and cost of living pay increases? Not a chance!

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$70 annual pass / 33 caches placed by UTP = $2.12 per cache. The pass allows up to 7 pers per vehicle, carpooling will make it even cheaper. Plus, it looks like they will be advertising Geocaching on their 50th Ann page: http://www.stateparks.utah.gov/50ann.htm# Bring some more positive info about geocaching & more geocachers to the sport, sounds good to me :D I see that they are also doing a "special State Parks 50th Anniversary geocoin" which will be placed as swag as well. They seem to have put a lot of effort & time into this. I have no problem with these caches myself.

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We stopped at Antelope Island State Park near Salt Lake City very recently and paid a $9.00 fee to enter the park. We were surprised and pleased to see a State Park embracing geocaching. I think this is a great way to create new geocaching adherents in an audience that is already inclined to outdoor activities and I am in complete agreement with this type of placement.

Having a state park come right out and embrace this activity is a real credit to the Utah geocachers who have worked with the park system, I really think congratulations are in order!

The tendency of parks to ban geocaching can really be offset by pointing out situations like the one in Utah. Geocaching needs to ally itself with park managers and having any state park system embrace geocaching is an excellent thing. I think it will very helpful to be able to point out the position that the Utah State Parks have taken when I am discucssing geocaching with our local officials.

My nine dollars was good for three Traditional cache finds, one DNF and two Earthcaches.

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Does the park charge different rates based on race?

 

Here in Thailand you can place or search for caches in national parks, but if you're white, black, hispanic, or even Japanese or Korean you'll be paying a lot more than you think.

 

Thai nationals = 20 Baht (57 cents)

Foreigners = 400 Baht ($11.42)

Foreigners married to Thai nationals = 400 Baht

Foreigners married to Thai nationals with children = 400 baht

 

Sounds to me like a standard $5 fee to enter a park is quite nice and reasonable. Especially when that money actually goes to park improvement, etc. instead of into someones pocket like here in the Land of Smiles. Based on what they are charging here in Thailand the entrance fees in America should be much higher to account for higher costs, salaries, etc. accrued by the forestry departments.

 

Living and working in another country for over 5 years has given me a true appreciation of the freedoms most western countries provide and the parks we can enjoy.

 

Aloha

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I would love to see parks fully embrace geocaching as a way of encouraging use.

 

It would be great if for the standard entrance fee there was numerous caches to search for so you could make a day of it with the family.

 

I've read though that some States are not geocaching friendly. For example, North Carolina charges a $35 per quarter year cache placement fee (so I've read on-line).

 

I don't see why caches should not be allowed in National Parks. It is easier to say no, if saying yes might involve some minor additional work.

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Does the park charge different rates based on race?

 

Here in Thailand you can place or search for caches in national parks, but if you're white, black, hispanic, or even Japanese or Korean you'll be paying a lot more than you think.

 

Thai nationals = 20 Baht (57 cents)

Foreigners = 400 Baht ($11.42)

Foreigners married to Thai nationals = 400 Baht

Foreigners married to Thai nationals with children = 400 baht

 

Sounds to me like a standard $5 fee to enter a park is quite nice and reasonable. Especially when that money actually goes to park improvement, etc. instead of into someones pocket like here in the Land of Smiles. Based on what they are charging here in Thailand the entrance fees in America should be much higher to account for higher costs, salaries, etc. accrued by the forestry departments.

 

Living and working in another country for over 5 years has given me a true appreciation of the freedoms most western countries provide and the parks we can enjoy.

 

Aloha

 

It's always good to see a view from another country. The USA does get a few things right. So do most countries. It would be nice if countires compaired things more often so they could all improve the things they don't do right.

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In our area we have a few entry fee required caches. No on seems to mind and most generally they enjoy other things besides the cache in the parks and facilities.

 

As far as Utah blowing their horn to come out and see their parks. I say go for it.. While their listings seems a little awkward from the normal(?) type of listings we see on GC.com, I am not offended when I looked at all their listings for caches for their parks and I think it's a good idea.. I wish someone in Nebraska had the foresight to do the same..

Edited by palser
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That does it. All because of this thread, my next container will be a vending machine that dispenses activated TBs/coins and other trade items, and it will have an ALR that you must purchase a TB/coin. And I'll form a not-for-profit shell company that owns the machine, then send all of the proceeds to Groundspeak.

 

Does anyone have an extra vending machine they'd care to donate to the cause? We'll apply for 501©(3) status so that your contribution will be tax-deductible ;-)

 

-eP

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$5 gate fee into the park. You think Geocaching should magically get into the park free, while all the hikers, bikers, walkers, swimmers, fishermen, picnic people... will all still have to pay the gate fee? Obviously you're not going to enjoy anything else about the park, you don't even want to see the pretty scenery as you drive to it, nor the trail that goes there, you're only there for the ammo can.

 

Let me get this straght. Utah state parks have decided to place geocaches in EVERY park, even though they've apparently had several parks that had MANY problems with caches placed without permission? And they're going to have park staff maintain each cache (with LOTS of cool sounding free custom swag for each park) until atleast the end of 2007, when each park landmanager will make a decision about if they keep or banish geocaching from their park?

- Hmmm, could this POSSIBLY be a trial run to see how geocaching compares with other trail users? It couldn't possibly be some part of an enviromental impact study to see if they consider geocachers to be WORTHY of using the park / trails. Nope, clearly they're only in it for the $5.

 

Oooh, a whole $5 to enter a park. Bet ya spent more on gas getting there. If you've got a problem with the "commercial" aspect of the state park demanding that much money to get you in for the day, why not contact the parks land manager, and see if you can put in a privately owned geocache? That way somebody who's only in it for the numbers can get 2 caches for their $5, that way it's down to $2.50 each! If there were 4 caches, and you hit all 4 they'd only be $1.25 each. And being non-trade caches (take only) I'm sure you would have spent more money on your trade swag that you would have left in there if it were for trade.

 

Next time, maybe you should listen to your wife. If you don't like state parks, maybe they're just not for you. It's ok, I'm sure there are plenty of other caches out there instead. If you don't like a walk in the park, don't take one. Geocaching is a FUN hobby, don't do things you dislike.

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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.

 

I agree and I agree with your wife :huh: For me, I never go anywhere where they charges me until I have other reason to go there...like swim in Lake Michigan.

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