Larimer County could raise entrance fees for parks and open space

Open house on Monday to discuss fee changes
Posted at 2:34 PM, Oct 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-22 08:22:43-04

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LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. — Entrance fees for Larimer County parks and open space have not been raised in more than a decade, but during that time there's been a dramatic increase in use. 

Colorado's growth is one of the factors county officials are considering as they study current pricing.

"A lot of these areas are intensively used and we see a lot of capacity issues. It takes more time and staff and personnel and things to address those issues," said Gary Buffington, Natural Resources Director for Larimer County.

Devil's Backbone Open Space is one example of significant visitor growth. In 2014, the area saw 67,936 visitors — and that number is expected to exceed 100,000 next year.

Larimer County hired a Denver-based company to conduct a fee study. The study projects a $2 increase for Carter Lake, Flatiron, Pinewood and Horsetooth reservoirs. It currently costs $7 to get in.

Fees for campsites at those reservoirs could be increased, too. The price for an electric campsite from April to September could go up from $25 to $32. 

The study also suggests raising fees at open spaces from $6 to $9.

The proposed increases aren't final and there will be an opportunity for public input. Larimer County is holding an open house to discuss the fee changes on Oct. 22 from 6-8 p.m. at the Larimer County Loveland Campus. More information on the fee study and open house is available here.