Worries in Estes Park about possible park fee increases

ESTES PARK, Colo. (AP) — Business leaders in Estes Park say they're worried about a proposal to significantly increase entrance fees at national parks such as nearby Rocky Mountain National Park.

Federal officials propose increasing the entrance fee from $25 or $30 to $70 per vehicle at certain national parks.

Estes Park Economic Development Corporation President and CEO Jon Nicholas says he's concerned the proposal hasn't been thought out. He tells the Fort Collins Coloradoan there's concern tourists might decide to go elsewhere.

The increase would also mean significantly higher costs for commercial tour operators.

Estes Park Mayor Todd Jirsa warns the rate hikes would cover just a fraction of the $227 million maintenance backlog at national parks in Colorado.

The National Park Service is taking public comment on the increases through Dec. 22.

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