Forest Service seeks public comment on Vail Pass Recreation Area fee hike |

Forest Service seeks public comment on Vail Pass Recreation Area fee hike

A backcountry skier walks past the fee registration building in the parking lot at the Vail Pass Recreation Area Thursday, Feb. 7, along Interstate 70. The US Forest Service is seeking public input on its intention to raise fees for the Vail Pass recreation area, which crosses into the Dillon Ranger District.
Hugh Carey /

The U.S. Forest Service is asking for public input on a proposal to increase recreation fees at the Vail Pass Winter Recreation Area. The agency said the fee hike is necessary to continue to provide essential operational services and sustain the recreation opportunities of the area into the future. The proposal would raise the current individual day pass fee from $6 to $10 and the season pass fee from $40 to $65 dollars.

Fees have not changed since 2005, while visitation has nearly doubled from 16,726 visitors in 2002-2003 to over 32,000 visitors last season. As visitation and operating costs continue to increase, expenditures have surpassed revenue; next year the area is projected to be operating at a $60,000 deficit. Without a fee increase, the ability to provide and sustain operational services in the future is as risk.

Comments will be accepted electronically throughout the operating season for Vail Pass Winter Recreation Area, which is between Feb. 7 and April 14.

Electronic comments can be submitted at Comment cards are available at all fee station locations and may be taken to the Dillon and Eagle-Holy Cross Ranger stations, or dropped into fee tubes at any Vail Pass Winter Recreation Area fee site. Project documents will be available for viewing at both office locations. For further details please contact the Dillon Ranger District at 970-468-5400.

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