Out-of-state visitors to pay parking fees at Koke’e, Waimea Canyon State Park

Out-of-state visitors to pay parking fees at Koke’e, Waimea Canyon State Park
Waimea Canyon, Kaua'i. (Source: DLNR)

KAUAI, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Heading to Kauai’s Waimea Canyon State Park or the famous camping grounds of Koke’e?

If you’re not a Hawai’i resident, be prepared to pay a parking fee come Friday.

The fees were discussed and approved by the Department of Land and Natural Resources as far back as 2015, and approved by Gov. Ige in 2015.

And in light of recent natural disasters, the fees will help offset a projected $100,000 revenue shortfall for the State Parks division.

The shortfall comes as a result of the 14-month-long closure of Kaua’i’s Ha’ena State Park, as well as the closure of the Nu’uanu Pali lookout due to landslides along the highway. The state said during that time, valuable parking fees and revenue from camping permits were lost.

“With Hawai‘i seeing record numbers of tourists (over 10 million projected for this year) we are simply at the point where we need visitors to share in the increased costs to maintain our parks,” DLNR Chair Suzanne Case said.

Starting on June 28, visitors to Koke’e and Waimea Canyon will need to pay $5 per vehicle. Pedestrians, motorcyclists and moped riders will need to pay $1 per person.

Commercial PUC vehicles will need to pay $10 for every 1-7 passengers, $20 for 8-25 passenger vehicles, and $40 for vehicles carrying 26 or more people.

The fees won’t apply to locals.

“With Haʻena reopening, there is an increase in operating and maintenance costs. As we now establish visitor limits, the parking and entrance fees generated at Haʻena will be modest and this revenue is extra important,” Division of State Parks Assistant Administrator Alan Carpenter said.

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