Three popular Wisconsin state parks see admission price increase

MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) -- A new demand-based pricing structure for Wisconsin State Park System properties will go into effect on February 15.

Three parks will see increased daily admission fees: Devil's Lake, Peninsula and Willow River. There will be no increase in the annual admission fees.

Devil's Lake daily admission fees will increase $5, with resident daily fees going from $8 to $13 and non-resident daily fees going from $11 to $16. Daily fees at Peninsula and Willow River will increase $2, with resident daily fees going from $8 to $10 and non-resident daily fees going from $11 to $13.

Camping rates will be adjusted across the system based on demand, by both increasing and decreasing camping rates. Depending on campsite type and time of year, some properties will experience both a rate increase and a rate decrease. The average camping fee increase will be $3 per night and will range to a high of $7 at Devil's Lake and Peninsula on electrical sites during summer weekends. The greatest camping fee decrease will be $5 per night.

"We believe this new pricing structure will help us better manage the demand we're seeing at some of our highly used properties while encouraging use at our lesser visited properties." said Ben Bergey, director of the Wisconsin State Park System.

The 2017-2019 state budget set new rates and authorities for the DNR including: the ability to adjust camping rates from the base rates set in statute and the ability to adjust daily admission fees from the base rates set in statute, at all properties. Also included in the budget is a $5 increase on all electrical campsites at Devil's Lake, Peninsula, Kohler-Andrae, High Cliff, and Willow River.

The park system plans to reinvest $2 million in user fees to fund property improvements, including the electrification of an additional 200 campsites at different campgrounds throughout the system including Big Bay, Blue Mound, Buckhorn, Copper Falls, Devil's Lake, Governor Dodge, Harrington Beach, Hartman Creek, High Cliff, Interstate, Lake Kegonsa, Mirror Lake, Nelson Dewey, Pattison, Peninsula, Perrot, Potawatomi, Wildcat Mountain, Willow River and Wyalusing. They will also fund technology improvements at parks and the addition of electronic pay stations at various properties.

Other improvements will be made at a number of properties throughout the state, and may include new fire rings, picnic tables and grills; graveling and grading campsites and repairs and improvements to facilities, entrance roads and parking.

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