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Open Roads Forum  >  RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions

 > Push to privatize National Park Service campgrounds

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wing_zealot

East of the Mississippi

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Posted: 10/12/19 05:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

dedmiston wrote:

I temporarily closed the thread. One of the primary trolls is gone from the forum and I'm reopening it again.
THANK YOU!

Thom02099

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Posted: 10/13/19 09:29am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I don't know what the original motivation was when the rules/laws were made to allow for a discount for senior citizens to enter National Parks (and by extension, use of USFS campgrounds). But I can speculate -- Respect.

Respect to our seniors who, in many cases are "the greatest generation". In many cases survivors of one and (earlier) two World Wars and the "conflicts" in Korea and Vietnam. The generation who's women worked tirelessly in factories during those wars. The generation who rebuilt and retooled this country after wars.

Just as we show respect for our veterans of all foreign wars/conflicts with discounts on services, this (senior pass) small discount to our seniors is also a way to show respect for their service, even if they were not in the military serving our country. Service can take many forms. Living through trying times is one of them. Honour our elders, even if we are now one of them. Never forget. Thank you to ALL for your service to our country.


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RAS43

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Posted: 10/13/19 09:59am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thom02099 wrote:

I don't know what the original motivation was when the rules/laws were made to allow for a discount for senior citizens to enter National Parks (and by extension, use of USFS campgrounds). But I can speculate -- Respect.

Respect to our seniors who, in many cases are "the greatest generation". In many cases survivors of one and (earlier) two World Wars and the "conflicts" in Korea and Vietnam. The generation who's women worked tirelessly in factories during those wars. The generation who rebuilt and retooled this country after wars.

Just as we show respect for our veterans of all foreign wars/conflicts with discounts on services, this (senior pass) small discount to our seniors is also a way to show respect for their service, even if they were not in the military serving our country. Service can take many forms. Living through trying times is one of them. Honour our elders, even if we are now one of them. Never forget. Thank you to ALL for your service to our country.


THANK-YOU!!!! (A senior and veteran.)

wannavolunteerFT

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Posted: 10/13/19 10:30am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I am concerned about privatization because when it doesn't work, it is horrible. A state park that I have frequented for years has had most of its operations privatized. They built a big lodge, restaurant and club that does draw in a fair number of visitors to a somewhat remote area, adding to the local economy. On the other hand, they have little concept of running a park/campground, except charing fees. The camping fees have increased, but the bathhouses have not been improved in years and are getting a bit worn. Because it is a state park, the campground checkin and maintenance is part of state park. They use volunteer campground hosts and maintenance hosts, but have not seen big increases from the increased rates, (high demand park and location). They have had their budget for staffing increased (and I know this because I just accepted a volunteer position to make up for for some staffing budget shortfalls they expect during the winter). I have worked for years for the federal government and understand the need for contractors/private vendors but also understand they contracts need to be written VERY carefully so that the mission of the agency is not lost in the process of meeting a budget.


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Terryallan

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Posted: 10/13/19 01:55pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Naio wrote:

agesilaus wrote:

There is a multi park vendor who does this sort of thing. He takes over State and Federal park campgrounds. He runs them, maintains them, improves them and still pays the state or Federal agency a fee for doing so. And he does not raise the fees and still makes a profit. He runs the Coyote Blog That link to his Park Privatization pages, where he explains how he does it. He hires many workcampers.


It seems the logical solution would be to allow the park service to have workcampers. Are there laws against that, maybe labor rights laws?

On a level playing field, government provided services are always cheaper than privately provided services. Both have the same base costs, but the private service has an additional cost, which is the profit to the owner.

But often the playing field is not level, as in this example where the private owner has a large amount of work done by people who are basically volunteers.


Don't know if this is what you mean. But the NP CGs, and COE campgrounds around here have Camp Hosts. They assign sites, and generally keep a close eye on the CG don't know how much they are paid, but they do get a site with full hookups. In many cases. the CGs they serve hove no hookups, or only have water, and sewer. But the hosts have it all. At the last Cg we were at. there were 2 host couples. They worked 4 days on and off. 12 hours a day.

Don't know if that is what you were referring to or not


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steveh27

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Posted: 10/16/19 07:40am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My experience dealt with Long Pine cg in the everglades. I had stayed there twice using my senior pass. There are no site hookups. They do have a communal water fill & dump site. The toilets are good and they have solar showers. A couple years ago I checked about going again & a private concessionaire was now in charge & refused to honor the senior pass discount. Almost seems like fraud to change it after the fact. I called & emailed complaints to the NPS but never heard back. I have not returned. I found other free boondocking sites. Just sad they want to take away our senior discount.

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Posted: 10/16/19 08:26am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

steveh27 wrote:

My experience dealt with Long Pine cg in the everglades. I had stayed there twice using my senior pass. There are no site hookups. They do have a communal water fill & dump site. The toilets are good and they have solar showers. A couple years ago I checked about going again & a private concessionaire was now in charge & refused to honor the senior pass discount. Almost seems like fraud to change it after the fact. I called & emailed complaints to the NPS but never heard back. I have not returned. I found other free boondocking sites. Just sad they want to take away our senior discount.


By "change it after the fact" do you mean the price changed between when you made a reservation and when you arrived, or that the price basically went up (due to there no longer being a discount offered) between your previous stay and your inquiry? The former seems questionable, the latter in my opinion is nothing at all near fraud, any more than a store or restaurant raising their prices substantially. You, of course, have the option of taking your custom elsewhere, as indeed you did.





monkey44

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Posted: 10/16/19 10:11am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My opinion after more than fifty years camping in NPS parks ... A general statement of my experiences in parks AFTER private concessionaires take over would include less care, less maintenance, higher cost, added fees, and general rudeness of staff.

In my opinion again, NO private corporation should be allowed to make money on the backs of taxpayers, which is exactly what happens when a private corporation takes over. Taxpayers supply the land, ecosystem protection, fire protection, built the parks and campgrounds, built and maintain the roads.

Our best position, if data - often manipulated - suggests concessionaires can or might do a reasonable job running our camps, then HIRE that company for a straight fee, like we do road-building and other federal projects, and keep the profit margins above that fee IN THE PARKS for upkeep and upgrades.

Despite the fact that some individuals believe discounts should disappear, veterans earned a little compensation for protecting our country. Seniors built the parks over a lifetime of taxes. Disabled deserve a little compassion.

But regardless, it should be the decision of the NPS whether concessionaires apply a discount, not the concessionaire decision, as we KNOW what choice private companies make regarding revenue and profit.

It falls on all citizens and visitors to maintain the NPS system, and when a federally mandated discount (at one time at least) disappears, then only the holders of those passes pay more, so the raise in revenue hits only ONE portion of park visitors, and more than likely, those visitors attend parks and camp more often and generate more NPS and local towns revenue overall.


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steveh27

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Posted: 10/16/19 12:16pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

DrewE wrote:

steveh27 wrote:

My experience dealt with Long Pine cg in the everglades. I had stayed there twice using my senior pass. There are no site hookups. They do have a communal water fill & dump site. The toilets are good and they have solar showers. A couple years ago I checked about going again & a private concessionaire was now in charge & refused to honor the senior pass discount. Almost seems like fraud to change it after the fact. I called & emailed complaints to the NPS but never heard back. I have not returned. I found other free boondocking sites. Just sad they want to take away our senior discount.


By "change it after the fact" do you mean the price changed between when you made a reservation and when you arrived, or that the price basically went up (due to there no longer being a discount offered) between your previous stay and your inquiry? The former seems questionable, the latter in my opinion is nothing at all near fraud, any more than a store or restaurant raising their prices substantially. You, of course, have the option of taking your custom elsewhere, as indeed you did.


Change it after the purchase of the senior pass which promised the discount. Now it's gone. They should have said the discount could betaken away at any time at their whim. That cg has no reservations.

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Posted: 10/17/19 05:02am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

westernrvparkowner wrote:

dedmiston wrote:

I had to delete some posts for words like "geezers".

Let's please keep this thread civil so I don't need to close it.
Didn't know that word needed to be added to Richard Pryor's list.
That would be George Carlin - not Richard Pryor.

dedmiston wrote:

I temporarily closed the thread. One of the primary trolls is gone from the forum and I'm reopening it again.


That is welcome news.


Experience without good judgment is worthless; good judgment without experience is still good judgment!

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