North Carolina state parks have embarked on a new pricing system for campsite rentals, facilities, and for special activity permits, which are issued for organized events, non-traditional activities and other commercial and non-commercial enterprises.
The system, known as dynamic pricing, is based upon supply and demand use patterns and current leisure, recreation and travel fee strategies. It was authorized by the 2015 General Assembly.
Dynamic Pricing will be implemented in several phases. A component of dynamic pricing will be simplified pricing and fee collection for group campsites – by charging a flat rate rather than a per-camper fee – so groups can better plan for fees regardless of attendance.
As part of our Centennial Celebration in 2016, we are hoping people from across the state take the time to visit some relatively undiscovered parks at off-peak times. To encourage that behavior, weekday camping in our state parks are now being offered at a special promotional rate, which will save our visitors a couple of bucks each night of camping. You can reserve your campsite at http://www.ncparks.gov/make-a-reservation
The fee for special activity permits is also changing. Until recently, the Division of Parks and Recreation was only authorized to charge a flat fee of $35 for any activity requiring a special activity permit, regardless of the impact on park staff, the park’s natural resource and potential impact to park operations.
The new pricing system allows the fee to be commensurate with the amount of disruption, consumptive or cumulative use of park facilities and resources, redirection of staff resources, or private financial gain using publicly owned facilities and property.
The state park system has a fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayers of North Carolina for adequate financial return for the use of public resources for private financial gain and the new pricing system will help us do that.
The new pricing structure is designed to assess a more appropriate fee based upon the activity to be conducted. In other words, the greater the impact, the greater the fee.