September 27, 2023
It should value extra to go to N.B. provincial parks this yr

Costs for visiting New Brunswick’s provincial parks, together with campsite and cabin charges, are rising this yr — and in some instances doubling. 

The province can also be introducing a tiered pricing system. 

“It would not look like a good system,” stated Salma Burney, a moderator on the Tenting New Brunswick Fb group, which has about 19,500 members. She additionally co-owns a non-public campground.

Burney stated she’s seen nothing however frustration in response to the associated fee will increase at provincial parks. 

“In the event that they’re owned by taxpayers, then why do taxpayers should pay twice as a lot to make use of one thing the place their tax {dollars} have gone to?” 

Mount Carleton Provincial Park is a well-liked vacation spot for tenting and mountaineering. (Tourism New Brunswick)

For instance, renting the Maple heritage cabin at Mount Carleton Provincial Park used to value $113.04 an evening in August. Renting that very same cabin throughout the identical month this yr will value $225, nearly double, and that does not embrace taxes.

Seasonal charges are additionally going up.

A seasonal RV campsite with electrical energy at Mactaquac Provincial Park value $1,652.17 in 2022. This yr costs differ between $2,000 and $3,250, relying on water and sewage availability and the kind of electrical hookup requested. Once more, these costs do not embrace tax.

Park entrance charges are rising by 50 per cent, from $8.70 to $13.04, plus taxes.

And at Parlee Seaside Provincial Park, a charge designated for seashore upkeep that’s tacked onto the doorway charge is rising by 66 per cent, going from $2.61 to $4.35, taxes further.

The province has additionally proposed elevating a few of these charges yearly till at the very least 2025. 

Prime Pricing

New Brunswick is introducing high-season and low-season charges this yr. Based on the province’s web site, Could 19-22 this yr and July 1 to Sept. 4 are thought of excessive season. 

It implies that tenting websites will value about 25 per cent extra throughout these summer season months and the Could lengthy weekend in comparison with the remainder of the yr. 

A campsite at New River Seaside, close to Saint John, with electrical and sewer hook-up will value $44.00 an evening in June, however $55.00 an evening in July. (Tourism NB)

Visiting Sugarloaf Provincial Park and utilizing an unserviced campsite, a website designated for pitching a tent with out electrical energy or water, will value $24 throughout the off-season. However throughout the excessive season the price of that very same spot will soar to $30.

A website for an evening at New River Seaside with entry to a 50-amp electrical outlet and sewer hook-up will value $44 an evening in June, however will increase to $55 an evening in July.

“I used to be a bit shocked to say the least,” stated Matt Richard, who has had a seasonal spot at Mactaquac Provincial Park for his household’s camper the final two years.

He stated his household has beloved their time on the park, however watching costs enhance is a troublesome tablet to swallow when companies have not improved.

“Every little thing goes up, however to go from $1,750 to now $2,250 and you continue to don’t have any sewer hook-up, that is a drastic enhance.”

He stated he expects he and his household will solely get a tenting spot for the occasional weekend this summer season and can seemingly move on the seasonal tenting.

“Tenting is a kind of good issues that’s an reasonably priced factor to do with the household,” Burney stated. “It should not be value prohibitive, however now they’re placing it in a degree the place, , the lower-income individuals cannot simply get pleasure from a easy tenting journey with their household.” 

The province stated one of many causes for the bump in charges is the addition of ‘an accessible playground, washrooms, household space’ at Parlee Seaside, proven right here in August 2022. (Shane Magee/CBC)

Tourism, Heritage and Tradition Minister Tammy Scott-Wallace wouldn’t be interviewed in regards to the charges. As a substitute, spokesperson Mark Taylor despatched a press release about what the charge will increase pay for.

He cited new accessible household washroom buildings at a number of campgrounds, upgraded and winterized shelters, “vital capital enhancements to energy/sewage/water companies onsite” on the largest campgrounds and “an accessible playground, washrooms, household space and different infrastructure at Parlee Seaside.” 

That e-mail additionally stated, “lots of the new spring/fall charges are decrease than the earlier price for the complete tenting season.” 

As a comparability, an unserviced tent website at Mactaquac Provincial Park value $26.96 final yr. This yr that very same website will value $2 much less outdoors the excessive season. However between July 1 and Sept. 4, and the Could lengthy weekend, it would value $30, or $3 greater than final yr, not together with taxes.

Burney stated making a worth tier between July and September exactly targets when children are out of college for the summer season and household holidays start. She worries that might imply decrease revenue households will endure probably the most, both having to pay extra or schedule time away from college and work with a view to keep away from paying steeper charges. 

“It might probably frustrate the mother and father as a result of they’re making an attempt to get everybody collectively,” stated Burney. 

Charges, charges, charges

Burney stated she’s additionally seen sentiment bitter towards rising charges. 

“There’s a charge to make a reserving after which in case you cancel there is a charge to cancel. There is a charge for every part. They cost for firewood. They cost for this, they cost for that, they nickel and dime you,” stated Burney. 

These will increase come at a time when New Brunswick’s Provincial Parks have grow to be wildly well-liked. A rise in individuals moving into outside actions got here throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on the division’s annual stories the overwhelming majority of campers in provincial parks are New Brunswick residents.

This summer some cabin prices at Mount Carleton Provincial Park will be double what they were last year.
This summer season some cabin costs at Mount Carleton Provincial Park shall be double what they have been final yr. (Shane Fowler/CBC Information)

The e-mail from the Division of Tourism, Heritage and Tradition additionally said, “Most charges haven’t been elevated in a number of years and these charge will increase affect 9 provincial parks.”

However campsite charges for these parks have been raised in 2020, in response to the province’s annual report on charges. Costs elevated three years in the past at Mount Carleton, Mactaquac, Herring Cove, New River Seaside, Parlee Seaside, Sugarloaf, Murray Seaside and La République provincial parks.

Charges are being launched for North Lake Provincial Park, the place there have been none because it opened final July 1. 

Park entrance, seashore upkeep and cabin charges have been final raised in 2016.