Mixed reactions, NPS pass sales boom ahead of price hike

Acadia senior passes increase in price

BAR HARBOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) – Acadia National Park is one of 59 parks across the country inundated with seniors trying to get their hands on lifetime passes.

The demand for the passes, accepted at parks across the country, has overwhelmed National Park Service websites and info centers ahead of the anticipated price hike.

"I do think it's a little bit outrageous,” Faith Murdock said. "I mean I could understand if they wanted to raise it up some."

The increase will bring the current $10 pass to $80 for those 62 years and older.

Murdock and her husband Merv got their passes in time.

"It's a big jump, but it's not going to affect us. We already have the pass,” he said.

National Park Service staffer, Dave Williams said he has been selling the passes nonstop at the Acadia Visitor Center.

In July, the park saw a 70-percent increase in senior pass sales from June—selling more than 9,000 in one month.

"It's a pretty good deal,” visitor Richard Kendall said. “You’re good to go. You don’t have to pay a fee each time.”

Park officials admitted the increase is steep, but said it is necessary.

“An increase from 10 to 80 dollars is a big leap,” Acadia National Park spokesperson John Kelly said. "An increase in these fees is really part of the ability for the park service to raise funds to do good things for visitor services and other amenities in the park."

Recently, Acadia has invested in resurfacing the Carriage Road in as well as reopening some popular trails.

"We're very grateful for that,” Faith Murdock said.

She said they are glad they got their passes in time so they can focus on what is really important: the experience.

“Now we just need to make sure we eat lobster, lobster and lobster,” Murdock joked. “If I could find it for breakfast, I'd eat it."

The price hike is set for August 28. Park officials told NEWS CENTER they do not expect any other fee increases in the near future.

You can purchase all passes through the Your Pass Now service.

© 2017 WLBZ-TV


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