Pay to play

Pay to play

Your trip to some national treasures is about to get a little more spendy. Staring Jan. 1, several national parks and monuments are increasing entrance fees, including Mesa Verde, Colorado National Monument in Grand Junction, Black Canyon of the Gunnison and Hovenweep National Monument.

The National Park Service announced in 2018 that it would be phasing in price increases at some sites across the country to help cover the cost of improvements and upkeep.

On average, prices will go up $5 across the board for annual and day passes. At Mesa Verde, the annual pass will increase from $50 to $55 and the vehicle rate will go up from $25 to $30.

According to the National Park Service, most of the money will stay in the park where it’s collected. About 20 percent will be used for other parks that don’t charge fees. Currently, there is a $11.6 billion backlog of maintenance across the country’s 417 parks, historic sites and monuments, NPS officials said.

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