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Tuesday, May 2, 2000

By Dennis Oda, Star-Bulletin
Hikers enter and exit Diamond Head Crater by vehicle
or by foot through the tunnel, above. After Dec. 31, a
toll booth will be built at the tunnel's entrance. For now,
the $1 fee is being collected at the start of the trail.

Diamond Head users
pay fees without fuss

By Pat Gee


Things went smoothly on the first day of the $1 fee charged to enter Diamond Head State Monument, state officials said.

Most people from the mainland and other parts of the world are accustomed to paying to enter parks, said park coordinator Yara L. Lamadrid-Rose.

There was only an occasional complaint, she said. A "small problem" with traffic congestion occurred mainly because tour-bus and limousine drivers told their passengers they would not have to pay the fee if they stayed in the parking lot, Lamadrid-Rose said.

But the drivers were told that as long as they were using park facilities, they would have to pay the entrance fee, she said.

By Dennis Oda, Star-Bulletin
Charles Makua puts his dollar in the fee box after
his friend, Lillian Niimi.

Eighty-four annual passes for $10 each were sold at Diamond Head to local residents who hike up the crater trail for regular exercise.

By 8 a.m., two hours after the park opened, 40 passes at "the kamaaina rate" had been sold, Lamadrid-Rose said. The next influx came in the late afternoon, when more residents got off work and came to buy their passes, she said.

Lamadrid-Rose also warned park users to bring the exact amount of cash for payment, as checks would not be accepted and the entrance station does not often carry a lot of change.

Annual passes also may be purchased at the Department of Land and Natural Resources permit office at 1151 Punchbowl Street, Room 310. Call 587-0300 for more information.

The fees are being charged for improvements and maintenance at state parks.

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