Spring is here, and if the nice weather we're finally having has gotten you in the mood to shine up the old RV to get ready for camping season, be aware that at some spots in Iowa, it's going to cost you a little more this year.
The Cedar Rapids Gazette reports that the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has set its first fee increase in 20 years. The DNR was given authorization by the Iowa legislature back in 2019 to set its own "dynamic pricing" at state parks and recreation areas through Senate File 2389. It will be structured so that the more amenities a site has the higher the fees. Out-of-the-way parks with fewer visitors won’t have a rate increase. But larger parks that draw visitors from across the state and from bordering states will have nightly fees 25 to 55 percent higher.
Lake Macbride State Park near Solon will raise fees for a full electric/water/sewer site from $19 to $26, electric sites will go from $16 to $20, and a primitive site from $9 to $12 a night.
Fees at all other DNR-operated state parks in Iowa can be found here.
It was a big year in 2020 for camping as the pandemic left us with not much else to do, and those wanting a vacation at any cost didn't look much further than their nearest state park. $2.3 million in revenue was generated, according to the DNR, and it looks to be another big year for camping, fishing, hiking, and water sports. Besides the pandemic, there was the derecho. Places like Palisades-Kepler State Park near Mt. Vernon have been working to reopen since the storm but will be ready to open soon, according to the Gazette.
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