Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
JL_HSTRE

Earthcaches vs Admission Fees

Recommended Posts

Earthcaches seem to still be allowed on public lands (national parks, state parks, etc) with admission fees.

 

What about an Earthcache that is outdoors, but requires admission to a site operated by a non-profit organization? Examples: botanical garden or the grounds of a museum. Would that be a violation of commercial guidelines?

Share this post


Link to post
4 minutes ago, JL_HSTRE said:

Earthcaches seem to still be allowed on public lands (national parks, state parks, etc) with admission fees.

 

What about an Earthcache that is outdoors, but requires admission to a site operated by a non-profit organization? Examples: botanical garden or the grounds of a museum. Would that be a violation of commercial guidelines?

If it's really a non-profit organization like a botanical garden or a museum, then how is that commercial?

Share this post


Link to post
15 hours ago, niraD said:

If it's really a non-profit organization like a botanical garden or a museum, then how is that commercial?

 

The Guidelines don't make a clear distinction between for profit, not profit, and not-free public.

Share this post


Link to post
3 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

The Guidelines don't make a clear distinction between for profit, not profit, and not-free public.

Perhaps, but caches in parks and open spaces that charge entrance/parking fees have always been allowed, as long as it isn't being run as a for-profit business (e.g., commercial campgrounds, amusement parks).

Share this post


Link to post
On 9/22/2020 at 4:08 PM, JL_HSTRE said:

Earthcaches seem to still be allowed on public lands (national parks, state parks, etc) with admission fees.

 

What about an Earthcache that is outdoors, but requires admission to a site operated by a non-profit organization? Examples: botanical garden or the grounds of a museum. Would that be a violation of commercial guidelines?

 

During the review process, we look at two things when a fee is involved. First, is it a commercial fee or not? Second, is it a reasonable fee?

 

For the first part, it can't be a for-profit entity - if it is, Groundspeak would have to allow it. But national/state/county/municipal park fees are allowed, and so are non-profit entities such as the Nature Conservancy, botanic gardens, and museums.

 

For the second part, reviewers have discretion as to what might be a "reasonable" fee in their area.

 

Since you're in Florida, unless you're planning or discussing a cache outside of your normal commute, I'm your local geoaware. I'm happy to discuss specifics if we're talking about an existing or potential earthcache in the SE USA. Or we can talk it here, up to you.

Edited by geoawareUSA9
  • Helpful 3

Share this post


Link to post

Be aware that a non-profit is not a guarantee that it is not commercial. If you mention it too much how great they are, they sell T-shirts, or push the company too much you can roll into the commercial aspect. 

A large non-profit in my area runs a Garden, a museum that sells a ton of stuff, has a few stores, various art and gardening studios that you can take classes in.  Your write up could push it over the commercial edge.edge.  

 

Every case and write up is different, touch bases with your reviewer, write up a skeleton page, and submit it with a question. 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
2 minutes ago, BlueRajah said:

Be aware that a non-profit is not a guarantee that it is not commercial. If you mention it too much how great they are, they sell T-shirts, or push the company too much you can roll into the commercial aspect. 

Well, sure. Just because the admission/parking fee is okay doesn't mean there aren't other ways for the CO to violate the guidelines prohibiting agendas or commercial caches.

Share this post


Link to post
On 9/25/2020 at 7:13 AM, geoawareUSA9 said:

For the second part, reviewers have discretion as to what might be a "reasonable" fee in their area.

Any insight as to how that is applied?  Is the fee expected to be reasonable for what the area would provide if one were to take full advantage of it, which a cacher there only to find a cache typically will not?  It's one thing to pay $20 a day for a park entrance fee, but if there's only one cache to be found there, $20/cache is pretty steep.  That the $20 covers all kinds of other activities that would justify $20 for a full day visit is another story. 

Looked at in a $/cache sense, admission fees can indeed look quite 'unreasonable' even though otherwise fair.

Share this post


Link to post
8 hours ago, ecanderson said:

Any insight as to how that is applied?  Is the fee expected to be reasonable for what the area would provide if one were to take full advantage of it, which a cacher there only to find a cache typically will not?  It's one thing to pay $20 a day for a park entrance fee, but if there's only one cache to be found there, $20/cache is pretty steep.  That the $20 covers all kinds of other activities that would justify $20 for a full day visit is another story. 

Looked at in a $/cache sense, admission fees can indeed look quite 'unreasonable' even though otherwise fair.

I wouldn't expect dollars/cache to enter into it at all. After all, that will decrease as the number of caches increases, and that will never happen unless people start hiding caches there.

 

I would expect "reasonable" to be based on what is reasonable for that area, for that kind of place. If the public parks are charging $5-10/day for parking, then it would be reasonable for a private non-profit facility to charge something similar. But $50/day might be considered unreasonable.

 

But I am not a volunteer reviewer or a lackey, and I don't even play one on TV, so...

Share this post


Link to post
15 hours ago, ecanderson said:
On 9/25/2020 at 9:13 AM, geoawareUSA9 said:

For the second part, reviewers have discretion as to what might be a "reasonable" fee in their area.

 

Any insight as to how that is applied?  Is the fee expected to be reasonable for what the area would provide if one were to take full advantage of it, which a cacher there only to find a cache typically will not?  It's one thing to pay $20 a day for a park entrance fee, but if there's only one cache to be found there, $20/cache is pretty steep.  That the $20 covers all kinds of other activities that would justify $20 for a full day visit is another story. 

Looked at in a $/cache sense, admission fees can indeed look quite 'unreasonable' even though otherwise fair.

 

As I said, it is at the discretion of individual reviewers, so it is applied individually.

 

I don't recall publishing caches recently at any parks, museums, or arboretums (arboreta?), etc. that have charged more than $10. I did deny one at a Disney park in Florida a while back, but that because the fee was both commercial and unreasonably high -- and Disney did not give permission for the cache.

 

The fees at many of the US National Parks have increased over the years; at Shenandoah, for example, the entry fee is apparently up to $30 per vehicle or $15 per person. That's not so cheap. But as the earthcache reviewer that covers that park, I would not deny a cache in Shenandoah based solely on the fee. Instead, I would require the cache owner to disclose in the description that there is a fee to enter the park, and to use the entry fee attribute. Then I would let geocachers themselves determine whether the fee is unreasonable - vote by their feet, as it were. If no one logs the cache, then the market has determined that the entry fee was unreasonable for that caching experience.

 

If you want to know what a particular geoaware would determine is reasonable for an entry fee, it's best to contact them and ask. For Colorado, that would be geoawareUSA2. Other US states and territories are as below.

 

730fb742-c379-4df2-be96-5ea907338fa2.png

Share this post


Link to post

Appreciate the insight.  Yes, park fees have gone through the roof over the last few years.  Even the 'old farts' lifetime pass for National Parks has gone WAY up compared to just a couple of years ago.

I did deny one at a Disney park in Florida a while back, but that because the fee was both commercial

and unreasonably high -- and Disney did not give permission for the cache.

Besides those issues, didn't the CO realize that Splash Mountain isn't real?

:P
  • Funny 1

Share this post


Link to post

I once had to pay an entrance fee A$10 (US $7.16) to get an Earthcache. It was worth the money though, as it was a very interesting place. One of the more interesting Earthcaches. I considered this charity though and was more than happy to pay it, as the people who ran it were very poor, and this was likely their only income, and they didn't get much from this source either.

Share this post


Link to post

"Senior" national park passes here are 8X the cost of just a couple of years ago.  Of course, that gets you into a lot of territory here in the U.S., so I don't begrudge them that. 

 

However, a little county park with an $12 per visit park pass for a 10 minute visit is a little excessive.  Definitely not 'charity' as they're using  county taxes to help pay for the upkeep.  If we planned to spend the day there making actual use of their facilities, there wouldn't be a complaint, but when we're on a cache run, we usually don't bring our fishing poles or jet skis.

 

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

×
×
  • Create New...