NRRS and campground fees
Again, it’s that time of year when Fred and I are hard at work sending out faxes to national forests (nfs) and updating the US National Forest Campground Guide website with 2009 fees, seasons, and reservation status information they provide. While we generally get good response from the nfs in the other Regions, the Rocky Mountain Region is generally poor. I can give you a host of excuses why but someone should explain to these guys we aren’t here to make more work for them, we aren’t a profit focus organization, and there are a lot of really great nf campgrounds beyond the borders of Colorado that folks will eventually discover and decided the non-Colorado campgrounds are a better buy for the buck. (Okay, I’ve vented let’s move on.)
To supplement and fill in holes from the Rocky Mountain Region’s non-responses, we’ll go to the National Recreation Reservation System (NRRS) as well as the Forest’s website for information. But that can result in a bunch of other problems. This is what I found for the Arapaho National Forest’s Stillwater campground near Granby, Colorado (FYI – Stillwater campground is a large campground on the west side of the Rocky Mountain National Park with some campsites right on the lakefront):
From NRRS website (updated unknown):
Stillwater campground’s Daily Fee: $15.00-$22.00 (walk to), $20 (tent only/nonelectric), $16.00 – $38 (standard nonelectric), $25 (standard electric)
From the Arapaho National Forest website (updated 10/29/08):
Stillwater campground’s Daily Fee: $19 (basic campsite), $22 (campsite near lakeshore), $24 (campsites with water and electrical hookups), $36 (double site)
In 2006, the last time we heard from the Arapaho National Forest, Stillwater campground’s Daily Fee: $17 (basic campsite), $20 (campsite near lakeshore), $5 surcharge for electric hookup (not eligible for any discounts)
See the problem? How do the different prices relate to the differently labeled campsites? And, granted, Stillwater is a nice campground (spacious campsites, good size parking aprons, close to the Rocky Mountain National Park, flush toilets, hot showers, and some electric hookups) but don’t the fees from the NRRS and Forest websites seem high? Okay, their prices reflect the fees charged by the private campgrounds in the area but I have two problems I am wrestling with as I update www.forestcamping.com.
My first problem is Stillwater campground is a publicly owned but I think privately operated by a profit-making entity. Okay, I know *all* the arguments and justifications for this. When the option is close a campground or hand its operation over to a commercial business, I would probably vote to keep it open. However, it still annoys me that these are my only choices.
The other problem is the outrageous fee charged by the NRRS to make reservations. It’s what $9 or $10 now! Do I have to play a fee to make a reservation at the area’s private campgrounds? NO! Do I get a discount for staying at Stillwater for more than a week as I would if staying at most private campgrounds in the area (generally, a seven day stay gives you the seventh day free)? And who in the heck is NRRS? Is it true that NRRS is a Canadian company also known as Ticketron? I don’t know and can’t find out and that, in itself, makes me worry.
Are there any solutions to my problems? Maybe when I’m king I’ll resolve these issues (along with ending world hungry and establishing peace in the Middle East), but for now my solutions are to not to use the NRRS and opt for campsites not operated by a profit-making entity, not easy Colorado. Hope we see ya in the woods
This entry was posted on Thursday, March 5th, 2009 at 8:11 am and is filed under family vacations, national forest campgrounds. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.