Help - Search - Members - Calendar
Full Version: State Park Rate Hike In Connecticut
RV Park Reviews Campground Discussion Forum > RV Park and Campground Discussions > RV Park Discussions
meatwagon45
Just an FYI to anyone looking to camp in Connecticut this year. All state park rates doubled on October 1, 2009 from $11.00 to $22.00 per night. For travelers consideration, there are privately owned campgrounds near every state park (within 5 miles) that for a few dollars more per night you can have full hook ups instead of boondocking.

I offer this information to everyone as a slap in the face to the state. Our governor is looking to have travelers pay for our budget deficit by camping one night at a time. It was brought to the state governments attention that state parks will no longer draw the full capacity crowds that they did considering the ammenities that can be found down the road.

Before I get asked, I DO NOT own, work for, or have any affiliation with any campground in the state. I am a camper and state resident that is outraged at our governments attempt to raise revenue while creating more of a hardship to those that already are struggling.
Lindsay Richards
Unfortunately this is happening all over. I think it is a short range view. People staying in state parks also spend money in many other places in the state, from gas stations, to dining and the like. My experience has been people with any brains don't go into politics anyway.
kcmoedoe
There are budget crisises in almost every state. Finally, the legislatures are catching up with the idea that certain ammenities must have fees that make them self supporting. It is unfortunate that campgrounds are getting caught up in the rush to save money, but truthfully, they are anything but a necessity for a state. If raising the fees to $22.00 will help keep them open and available that is better than seeing them cut completely out. And before everyone starts ranting about how they will see less reservations, remember 30 sites occupied at $22.00 beat 50 sites occupied at $11.00.
NorthernIllinoisPlumber
Tax dollars are already going toward the state parks. This is just another excuse to slap it to the consumer. You can also bet on increases in access fees, hunting licenses, fishing etc.
meatwagon45
You are correct, ALL permits went up, not just camping. Out of state fishing permits are in the $50.00 range now and the fines for not being licensed doubled too. Last I heard, the state wants to sell permits to drop a fishing line in Long Island Sound as well.

I understand that other states are raising their rates, but it is ironic that Gov. Jodi Rell has been pushing parents to get their kids outside in the summer months and away from the TV. Great idea, but when it costs twice as much to go away for a weekend and income has stayed the same (if you are lucky) than it just hurts the wallet more. Alot of people are already streached thin and increases like these only hurt more.

From what I have seen already this year, rates at the private campgrounds have stayed the same as last year and the year before.
dog bone
QUOTE(kcmoedoe @ Mar 9 2010, 10:44 PM) *
There are budget crisises in almost every state. Finally, the legislatures are catching up with the idea that certain ammenities must have fees that make them self supporting. It is unfortunate that campgrounds are getting caught up in the rush to save money, but truthfully, they are anything but a necessity for a state. If raising the fees to $22.00 will help keep them open and available that is better than seeing them cut completely out. And before everyone starts ranting about how they will see less reservations, remember 30 sites occupied at $22.00 beat 50 sites occupied at $11.00.


I agree with you, if the money gets put back into the park system and not somewhere else.

QUOTE(NorthernIllinoisPlumber @ Mar 10 2010, 12:12 AM) *
Tax dollars are already going toward the state parks. This is just another excuse to slap it to the consumer. You can also bet on increases in access fees, hunting licenses, fishing etc.


Yes they are, but if they need the money somewhere else it is not going to make it to the park system. The parks are put on the back burner. I have seen it at one of the NYS parks. It is a beautiful place, but in the last few years it has been getting run down. Maintenance has gone down because of lack of personnel due to the cutbacks.

The states are looking for more money anywhere they can. In jersey they are getting $75 for a safe boaters course. While I agree with the idea, to a point, I have had a boat license or been running a boat for almost 50 years now. Now they are telling me I need to take a safety course. Also they want an added fee to launch a boat in the lake. Another 35 bucks plus launch fees to the marina. The people that live on the lake are going to have to pay the fee also. Excuse me, but aren't we paying higher taxes for living on the lake going to take care of that. They say the money is going to be used to off set the cost of lake up keep. I have yet to see them do anything to the lake.

Sorry I got a little off topic, but someone else brought up raising the price of different things. I guess what I'm saying is I don't mind paying more if it goes into what I'm paying more for and not to line somebody's pocket.
rgatijnet
One thing is for sure....these fee increases will never be lowered again, not matter what happens to the economy. Once any government gets used to the extra money, they never want to give it up. Increasing fees is the easiest way to "tax" the citizens as it does not take a vote.
HappiestCamper
QUOTE(meatwagon45 @ Mar 10 2010, 01:10 AM) *

From what I have seen already this year, rates at the private campgrounds have stayed the same as last year and the year before.


Amazing how the private industry knows how to operate. The government will use the argument that less sites rented in the state parks (because of higher rent) justify closing the park.
meatwagon45
Glad to see that others agree with me. Knowing the state of CT, not one dime of the rate increase will go back into the parks. CT has a history of collecting money and putting it into the general fund so that everything except what the money was collected for is funded. Im sure CT is not the only state that does it, but enough is enough. IF the rates go up for camping in a state park, put the money into upkeep in the park. Im not asking for improvements, just general upkeep. But alas, we are going to pay an increase while a union takes a 4% pay raise.
meatwagon45
Not looking to beat a dead horse, but this just came out in the news this morning. Reservations at Connecticut state parks are down 40% compared to last year. Campers are asking the legislature to repeal the rate increase.

http://www.wfsb.com/family/22802888/detail.html

In an article in a local news paper, the state admitted that the revenue raised would go into the general fund to cover budget shortfalls.
mdcamping
Yup... I heard about this also on the news this morning. Considering what CT state campgrounds have to offer, $20 to $30 per night, dry site, no pets allow... dry.gif I'm surprised it's not higher than 40%. I've always prefered the private campgrounds, this rate hike just gives me one more reason to stay away from them. ( at least for now)

Mike
kcmoedoe
QUOTE(HappiestCamper @ Mar 10 2010, 12:08 PM) *

Amazing how the private industry knows how to operate. The government will use the argument that less sites rented in the state parks (because of higher rent) justify closing the park.

Many states have laws that prohibit revenues from going anywhere but the general fund. Earmarking of revenues sound great, but cause governing entities real problems when there are revenues in one area and shortfalls in another. They get around this by requiring all revenues to go to the general fund and spend from there. Think of it this way, would it be politically expedient or even right for there to be a surplus is the fishery department when the state had to release inmates early because the prison system was out of money? sorry about the quote not reflecting the comments, I clicked on the wrong box. This should be a reply to meatwagon in quote #9.
HappiestCamper
QUOTE(kcmoedoe @ Mar 11 2010, 09:02 PM) *

<snip>sorry about the quote not reflecting the comments, I clicked on the wrong box. </snip>


I was starting to wonder blink.gif
campatkoa
I would like to know, how any park, state or otherwise can survive on $11.00 a night. Instead of closing state parks, hike up the prices. If the money does not go back into the parks, shame on the states. I have to pay taxes to the state parks and then have to compete against them. How can anybody complain about $22.00 a night to stay in some of the most beautiful places in the USA
NorthernIllinoisPlumber
QUOTE(campatkoa @ Mar 12 2010, 11:06 AM) *

I would like to know, how any park, state or otherwise can survive on $11.00 a night. Instead of closing state parks, hike up the prices. If the money does not go back into the parks, shame on the states. I have to pay taxes to the state parks and then have to compete against them. How can anybody complain about $22.00 a night to stay in some of the most beautiful places in the USA



I can complain because I already pay enough in taxes. When the money is diverted and wasted, then the government says it has to raise "fees."

We own our parks, they belong to the public...as we pay taxes for their upkeep.

Lindsay Richards
State parks are not supposed to be a for profit enterprise. They are supported by tax dollars and are for the benefit of the taxpayers. At least this is the way I look at it. I have stayed in the all over the US and my experiences have generally been good. Many if not most do not have on site sewer, TV hookups, WiFi and are frequently have small sites. I don't expect as much from them. They are generally very beautiful and have lots of kids. I think the politicians are being very disingenuous by raising rates so much and not providing any additional services. Unfortunately our country is expanding governmental jobs and shedding jobs in the private market. This doesn't work and I think we are seeing the results in our economy right now. Writing or emailing the powers that be seems to be an exercise in futility.
Tom
QUOTE(campatkoa @ Mar 12 2010, 10:06 AM) *

I would like to know, how any park, state or otherwise can survive on $11.00 a night. Instead of closing state parks, hike up the prices. If the money does not go back into the parks, shame on the states. I have to pay taxes to the state parks and then have to compete against them. How can anybody complain about $22.00 a night to stay in some of the most beautiful places in the USA


Just some notes: the basic nightly fee in Connecticut has gone from $15 per night to $30 per night. PLUS a $9 "booking fee", and I think there is a fee if you don't reserve in advance (on top of all other fees and taxes). CT State Parks, with exception of some handicapped spots, DO NOT have hookups of any kind. Camping areas have freshwater available, but not for individual sites. So it is quite possible for it to cost $45 to stay one night, on a rectangle of grass.

For $40 a night, there is a private campground literally right up the road with full hookups.

At the $15 fee, CT state parks were, in my opinion, worth it. And with virtually no maintenance except for mowing the grass. And the parks were very busy - Rock Neck and Hammonassette were routinely FULL during the summer. My understanding is that the parks were easily covering their own costs, and making money for the State. Double that rate with absolutely nothing to show for it, and it is not worth it.

Can you imagine how many private campgrounds in the USA would LOVE to double their nightly rates, all the while providing NO hookups or basically any other services to the campers??
NorthernIllinoisPlumber
That is quite a rate hike....I hope Illinois does not catch on!
mdcamping
QUOTE(Tom @ Mar 19 2010, 08:27 AM) *

Just some notes: the basic nightly fee in Connecticut has gone from $15 per night to $30 per night. PLUS a $9 "booking fee", and I think there is a fee if you don't reserve in advance (on top of all other fees and taxes). CT State Parks, with exception of some handicapped spots, DO NOT have hookups of any kind. Camping areas have freshwater available, but not for individual sites. So it is quite possible for it to cost $45 to stay one night, on a rectangle of grass.

For $40 a night, there is a private campground literally right up the road with full hookups.

At the $15 fee, CT state parks were, in my opinion, worth it. And with virtually no maintenance except for mowing the grass. And the parks were very busy - Rock Neck and Hammonassette were routinely FULL during the summer. My understanding is that the parks were easily covering their own costs, and making money for the State. Double that rate with absolutely nothing to show for it, and it is not worth it.

Can you imagine how many private campgrounds in the USA would LOVE to double their nightly rates, all the while providing NO hookups or basically any other services to the campers??

Tom, you hit it right on the head....and most of the CT state parks don't allow pets.

Mike
meatwagon45
You are correct, pets are not allowed on state camp ground property. People that I have talked to said that park wardens are more than happy to tell you where the nearest kennel is - even at 2am
NorthernIllinoisPlumber
Illinois State Parks don't allow any alcohol. No one should complain...
mdcamping
Last year I paid $150 for three nights camping which included me buying three fishing licenses so my boys and I could go fishing on the Natchaug river...this year I have to pay $240 because the CT state fishing license has gone from $20 to $50 (which includes salt water fishing) Now I'm not sure if I can afford to go.

Mike
Tom
mdcamping, were you fishing from a private campgrounds' property? I don't think you need a fishing license when you are on campground property. Now I have to see if I can find that info!
mdcamping
QUOTE(Tom @ Mar 22 2010, 08:51 PM) *

mdcamping, were you fishing from a private campgrounds' property? I don't think you need a fishing license when you are on campground property. Now I have to see if I can find that info!


Some of it was I believe, but we fish up & down the river away from the campground property.

Mike
HappiestCamper
QUOTE(NorthernIllinoisPlumber @ Mar 22 2010, 05:39 PM) *

Illinois State Parks don't allow any alcohol. No one should complain...


You can sneak that - a dog is a different story. SC doesn't allow alcohol either - never stopped me.
dog bone
QUOTE(HappiestCamper @ Mar 23 2010, 09:17 AM) *


You can sneak that - a dog is a different story. SC doesn't allow alcohol either - never stopped me.

I think the no alcohol rule is a control thing, put in place to keep the rowdy's out. A family with some friend having a couple won't have a problem. Unless it gets out of hand or you flaunt it. I have been caught a couple of times by both a ranger, in his sp, and a park owner and was told just to keep it under wraps. I might have been lucky, I don't know.

Back on subject. The states are looking for money anywhere they can get it. Raising gas tax, cigarettes, booze anything that the population likes to do or has to do, including camping. They aren't going to put the extra money back into the parks. It is going to go into the general fund account and be use it as they see fit.
Someone already stated that why spend 35 or 40 bucks to pitch a tent or park a trailer on a 20 x40 piece of grass when you can get full hook ups for the same price around the corner. The parks are going to close, mother nature is going to take them back, and our future generations are going to miss out on some of the best camping.
mdcamping
QUOTE(mdcamping @ Mar 22 2010, 09:03 PM) *

Some of it was I believe, but we fish up & down the river away from the campground property.

Mike


I actually called the campground today, the owner told me because it's stocked by the state that a licenses is required which kind of makes sense, though I was hoping for the opposite... I would have just stayed on campground property and saved myself an awful lot of money!! biggrin.gif
mdcamping
QUOTE(dog bone @ Mar 23 2010, 11:43 AM) *

Back on subject. The states are looking for money anywhere they can get it. Raising gas tax, cigarettes, booze anything that the population likes to do or has to do, including camping. They aren't going to put the extra money back into the parks. It is going to go into the general fund account and be use it as they see fit.
Someone already stated that why spend 35 or 40 bucks to pitch a tent or park a trailer on a 20 x40 piece of grass when you can get full hook ups for the same price around the corner. The parks are going to close, mother nature is going to take them back, and our future generations are going to miss out on some of the best camping.


I understand and agree with your point...it certainly makes sense but with that being said families are stressed for money also and with less of it to spend some people are looking for the most value for their dollar, so I think both points of view work here...IMHO

Mike
dog bone
QUOTE(mdcamping @ Mar 23 2010, 11:43 PM) *


I understand and agree with your point...it certainly makes sense but with that being said families are stressed for money also and with less of it to spend some people are looking for the most value for their dollar, so I think both points of view work here...IMHO

Mike

I think we both have the same point of view. smile.gif One of the earlier posts, I think it was Tom, said that some of the sp's had some extra charges along with the camping charge. According to their post, that put the price to camp with no hook up's, at a sp, about the same as going to a private park with full hookup's. Best value for your dollar. I would not like to see the sp's close because of lack of use or funds.
I think we all are looking for the best value for our money.



HappiestCamper
The state parks in NY, MA, and RI are cheaper. Anybody contemplating staying in CT go to one of these instead - and every time you do, send a letter to CT's governor letting them know.

If you must stay in CT, send a letter to the governor letting them know that you only stayed half the time you wanted to because of the price.
meatwagon45
UPDATE!!! - Connecticut is considering repealing the rate hike and replace it with a lower increase. This should be all state parks, all hunting and fishing permits. The trade off is increasing traffic tickets. Lawmakers have been recieving complaints and threats of boycotting state properties. Others have publicly stated that they would risk being caught without a fishing permit instead of paying $50 (last years rate was $20).
NorthernIllinoisPlumber
Keep up the pressure!
This is a "lo-fi" version of our main content. To view the full version with more information, formatting and images, please click here.