CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARBULLETIN.COM
Colin Smith and his wife, Alicia Baptista Smith, from Oakland, Calif., paid for walk-in tickets at Diamond Head State Monument yesterday.
Diamond Head fee earns state $1.6M
Repair work across the parks system benefit from money collected from visitors
The entry fee for Diamond Head State Monument has netted the state Division of Parks about $1.6 million for parks maintenance work over the past three years.
Though some of the money has been spent at Diamond Head, most has been distributed throughout the state parks system, said Martha Yent, state parks interpretive program supervisor.
About 15 park repair and maintenance personnel across the state are paid out of the fund, said Yent. Other income for the fund includes rent for state park cabins and concession contracts in state parks, which together bring in another $500,000 per year, she said.
The state started charging a $1 fee per hiker on the Diamond Head trail in May 2000. In January 2003, fees for vehicles entering the crater were added: from $5 per private car to $40 for a large bus.
Frequent users can pay $10 for an annual walk-in pass or $30 for an annual drive-in pass.
During 2003, the first year of entry fees for both walking and driving visitors to the monument, the state collected $773,077. By law, 20 percent of that goes to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, leaving $618,461 in the State Parks Special Fund. In 2004, the total rose to $777,173, of which $155,434 went to OHA.
The amount collected this year, which wasn't available yesterday, is running about the same, Yent said.
The state has been paying about $80,750 per year to Diamond Parking Services to collect the fees. That contract expires in January.
The state Board of Land and Natural Resources is expected tomorrow to approve seeking bids for a new contract later this month.
Stephen Kozlowski, vice president of Diamond Parking Services, said he expects his firm will bid on the new contract.
Yent said she expects other firms will bid as well.
There is no proposal to change the fees charged to consumers, Yent said.
Entry fees at Diamond Head State Monument
» $1 for an individual to walk in, or $10 for an annual walk-in pass.
» $5 for a private vehicle, or $30 for an annual drive-in pass.
» $10 for a commercial vehicle that seats up to 15 people.
» $20 for a minibus that seats 16-25 people.
» $40 for a bus that seats 25 or more.