Too many people think if they pay taxes, they are free to play. No. Taxes simply
aren't enough and never were intended to pay for me and thee to have recreation.
Except for a city park or school playground, almost every other recreational
venue has entry and use fees. Rightly so! If you want to play, you have to be
willing to pay. And I have supported many recreational sites through the
economical annual pass programs because I have wanted my family to have the most
experiences for the buck. Now I wonder what would happen if all Utah
parents and grandparents would buy an annual pass every year from such places as
the Utah State Parks, the Federal Parks, Hogle Zoo, This is the Place Park, and
wherever such annual passes are available. Might cost around $500 a year per
family but think of the fun you would have and contribution it would make. Over
the years annual passes have made it possible for us to visit so many exiting
places to learn about the world and nature, our family history, make and share
memories, and build relationships. Buy Annual Passes and go on more family
Why does closing down operations from the state in these parks mean that access
to these areas needs to be closed?Additionally, the state should
return state parks to smaller communities that they took over through strong
arming over the years.Snow Canyon, outside of St George is an
example of this. It was city property and the state basically took it over.
The state should return parks that were taken over first to the orignal
communities. Perhaps if this is done, they could then maintain other parks from
their budget without raising more fees.
Seems to me that golf courses are a nitch recreation. The bulk of the
population doesn't golf. Golf courses use huge amounts of water which is a
waste here in the desert. Be that as it may, I don't mind golf but I think
golfers should bear the full cost of their recreation and the state should not
be involved at all. The free market should determine how much golf is worth to
the people that enjoy it. Far more people utilize the lakes and public lands
and this is where any money spent should be used. However, even here there is
much waste. At a recent stay at the Deer Creek Campground there appeared to be
several people in authority, including a deputy patrolling the area. We may
have to rough it a bit but that should add to the experience.
DN Subscriber summed it up nicely."We cannot afford to provide
every "nice to have" service or benefit that big spenders in the past
have dreamed up.Back to basics, and if there is no money, we cannot
afford it. Just like your family and mine."
It seems to me that any time we have an economic downturn we start threatening
state parks. These parks are places of refuge for families. They are a retreat
from everyday life with monotonous routine. Perhaps if the counties
in which there are state parks would start advertising and promoting the parks,
there would be more people interested. For instance, Palasades State Park in
San Pete County gives the apperance of being closed and neglected. I was here
for a few years before I even knew they had a golf course with a restaurant and
it was only recently I found out that they are supposed to have boating at
Palasades Lake. Raising prices now would not have a good effect on
the parks. Just about everyone, especially families, is being touched by the
recession in the country. I believe that not raising the prices and promoting
the parks with some kind of advertising would be more beneficial.
It is important to be open to options such as differential pricing. I enjoy our
state parks and would be willing to pay more for peak time usage. Compared with
other entertainment options such as taking the family to a movie, these parks
are huge bargains. I, for one, would find a user fee increase to be reasonable.
The state parks are very important to our state. They have already been cut
back more than they ought to be. (No, I'm not affiliated with them at all.)
We cannot afford to provide every "nice to have" service or benefit
that big spenders in the past have dreamed up.Back to basics, and if
there is no money, we cannot afford it. Just like your family and mine.Raise fees as needed to match costs, and close some of the marginal
areas. By "close" I mean eliminate any activities that
generate costs- maintenance, rest rooms, fee collection, security, etc. Call
them "unimproved scenic areas" or something instead of a
"park."The Sierra Club and other greenies will welcome
getting rid of all that man made stuff. Other users will lament the loss of
"civilized" improvements that make park visits family fun instead of
These state parks are increasingly important to families and communities who so
desperately need them in this economic (and, dare I say it, even cultural)
recession. It would be such a loss if they were closed!Perhaps there
could be a way for the state to match donations from local governments,
communities and private individuals in order to fund specific parks? Such a
program could create a sense of ownership in the parks by the community.
Cut them all. They do not make a profit. Then taxes could be lowered.