Campers to pay more this summer

by Morinville News Staff

The icy depths of February may have Albertans looking to warmer times down the calendar road, but those looking to for a vacation at home will have to shell out more money to use the province’s parks.

The province announced Friday morning that campsite fees in provincial parks will increase for the first time in five years, rising by $3 per night for the 2015 season. The increase brings the price range to $5 to $26 per night, depending on location. Campers wanting power will pay an extra $1 per night to help offset increased utility costs.

“Our provincial campgrounds are attracting more visitors every year,” said Kyle Fawcett, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Resource Development, in a release Friday. “These fee increases will help us maintain our parks to the standards that have made them so popular, while keeping camping in Alberta affordable for families and visitors.”

The province says group campsites are also affected by the price increase on a per unit base. The base rate of $50 for a group campsite will increase to $50 to $150 per night starting in 2016.

Sewage disposal, an optional user-pay service, will increase from a flat fee of $3 to a $3 to $10 price range. Some campgrounds will also introduce an optional on-site, pump-out service at a cost of up to $25.

Despite the increase, the province says it is once again offering its “Stay for 3, Pay for 2” midweek nights promotion at select provincial campgrounds.

The province is looking to add $2 million to their coffers with the increase. They say they will reinvest the monies in Alberta’s 245 provincial campgrounds to maintain amenities, including picnic tables, fire pits, washrooms, showers, visitor centres, playgrounds, boat launches, trails and roads.

Alberta Parks will also introduce reservations by region at staggered times for regular bookings; a move they say will better support Albertans in making camping plans for the summer.

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