Get ready for the media to turn a shade of National Park Ranger-beige. That’s because documentarian-for-the-masses Ken Burns is getting ready to air his National Parks: America’s Best Idea (depressing that that’s our best idea, no?) on PBS in late September.
And today, Obama and family boarded a plane to head out west, in part to promote a new “stimulus” scheme, offering free park-attendance on weekends. We had no idea this was part of the stimulus. The goal makes sense: families should be given more free, entertainment alternatives, but then, we wonder how the providers of paid entertainment feel about the government undercutting them.
But then, it doesn’t seem to be making much of a difference. Americans are so allergic to nature, that even price signals have little effect.
WaPo: The Park Service also informally surveyed concession and lodging operators at the 50 parks. About two-thirds reported no attributable change in sales on the fee-waiver weekend in June, according to Olson.
Regular admission fees at the parks vary from $3 per person at smaller parks to $25 per vehicle at larger Western sites. Under the fee-waiver initiative, visitors did not have to pay park entrance fees June 20-21 or July 18-19. They also will not have to pay this weekend.
The fee-free weekends cost the Park Service $750,000 to $1 million in lost revenue each day. The agency anticipates losing up to $6 million in revenue by the end of this weekend. Total revenue for the Park Service is down 3 per cent so far this year compared with 2008.
(via Steve Sailer)
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