Saturday, February 27, 1999

State board OKs
user fees for
Diamond Head

Park users will pay $1 per
person or $5 per car at
the popular attraction

By Harold Morse


The state Board of Land and Natural Resources has approved charging a fee to enter Diamond Head State Monument, the site of a trail leading to the top of the famous landmark.

The board yesterday also approved fees to camp at 12 state parks, and gave the state authority to impose other charges in the future, such as for parking.

"Diamond Head is one of our most popular visitor attractions, with over a million visitors a year," said Ralston Nagata, state parks administrator. "With that level of use, and in these days of decreased funds, we need to explore other options, including user fees, to help us care for our parks for use by residents and visitors alike.

"As we finish updating our master plan for the park and begin to implement enhancements, such as an interpretive shelter and visitor center, we hope the nominal entry fee will be welcomed by the public."

The rules now go to the governor for review and approval. The Diamond Head entry fee will be implemented after a collection system is worked out over the next few months.

Entry fees to Diamond Head will be $1 for an individual to walk in, and $10 for an annual walk-in pass.

Bringing in a private vehicle will cost $5, with rates varying for commercial vehicles: $10 for sedan or van (15-person capacity), $20 for a minibus (16-25 person capacity) and $40 for a bus (25-plus person capacity).

Stickers or gate cards will go to private vehicles with annual passes and to authorized government vehicles and employees of the National Guard, Civil Defense and Federal Aviation Administration, which all have working staff and facilities in the crater.

Revenue generated will be used for services to park visitors and educational programs to schools, according to the Department of Land and Natural Resources.

For camping in 11 state parks, a $5 fee will be charged each night for a family campsite for up to 10 persons.

The fee will be $10 a person a night at Na Pali Coast State Park on Kauai.

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