LIHUE — Paid parking for visitors and commercial tours is soon to be a common requirement in Kauai State Parks.
And the state Department of Land and Natural Resources says it’s a way to recoup some money after losing thousands of dollars in camping refunds and loss of other revenue — all due to closures of Haena State Park and Oahu’s Nuuanau Pali Lookout.
“These events collectively resulted in a significant loss in State Park revenue to supplement park unit operating funds,” a DLNR news release said on Monday.
State Parks estimates this will be a $100,000 shortfall by August.
“With Haena reopening, there is an increase in operating and maintenance costs,” said Division of State Parks Assistant Administrator Alan Carpenter. “As we now establish visitor limits, the parking and entrance fees generated at Haena will be modest and this revenue is extra important.”
Parking fees were announced Monday for Waimea Canyon State Park and Koke’e State Park. Visitors now must pay $5 per vehicle for parking. For those on a moped or motorcycle, the cost is $1 per person. Pedestrians in the two state parks will be charged $1.
Non-resident visitors to Haena State Park are already paying a $5 fee per vehicle for parking and a $1 park entrance fee to enter the park that hosts the Kalalau Trailhead and Ke’e Beach.
Visitors will have to start paying for parking in Waimea Canyon State Park and Koke’e State Park on Friday, June 28.
While the 2018 floods put a dent in camping fee collection — 14 months of no revenue — the fees were approved in 2015 by Governor David Ige and were approved by the Board of Land and Natural Resources in 2010.
The State won’t be managing parking themselves, though. They’re contracting the Hawaii parking lot management company Republic Parking to do the management — via revocable permits.
Republic Parking did not imediately return phone calls for comment on how parking will be managed.
Commercial PUC vehicles and tours will be garnering fees starting Friday in Waimea Canyon State park and Koke’e State Park as well. Fees are $10 for 1-7 passenger vehicles and $20 for 8-25 passenger vehicles.
Vehicles carrying 26 or more passengers can get a special use permit for Waimea Canyon for $40.