Callers to the attractions run by the Utah Division of Parks and Recreation may soon be speaking to an answering machine instead of a division employee when they telephone for information.
About one-third of the state's 30-plus parks and other recreational attractions already substitute an answering machine for an employee during at least part of the day.The new policy of encouraging the rest of the attractions to install an answering machine met with approval by members of the Utah Division of Parks and Recreation Board Thursday.
The decision to institute the new policy was an administrative one, but Jerry Hover, division chief of operations, said he wanted the board members to be aware of what was being done.
Besides using more answering machines, the division has also decided not to return long-distance telephone calls unless the callers agree to accept the charges.
That information will be included on the recorded messages used on the answering machines, along with a referral to a toll-free telephone number for making reservations at campgrounds, boat slips and other facilities.
Callers will also be told when a division employee will be available to pick up the telephone and all emergency calls will be referred to the Highway Patrol or local authorities.
The board also adopted a new fee schedule that will take effect Jan. 1, 1989. As of that date, it will cost 50 percent more to rent a meeting room operated by the division after 6 p.m. The surcharge will cover the cost of keeping employees on duty after hours.
Other changes in the fee schedule include the elimination of a $45 annual pass that could be used to enter all state parks and attractions. Last year, some 800 of these passes were sold.
Max Jensen, the division's southeast region manager, said some of those passes may have been shared by a number of visitors, resulting in the division losing fees that should have been collected.
The division will continue to sell a $25 annual pass for each state park, but will no longer replace that pass if it is lost. Jensen said some of the passes that were replaced may not have been lost but given to someone else.