- Associated Press - Friday, January 1, 2021

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Park officials in Utah have said residents will see an increase in annual pass prices for state parks this year.

Passes for visitors living in the state increased from $75 to $100 and senior passes increased from $30 to $50 on Friday, marking the first increase in 25 years, The Salt Lake Tribune reported Thursday.

“Money generated by these fees will be spent on maintaining visitors’ access to the best possible outdoor facilities and experiences,” the Utah Division of Parks and Recreation said in a statement on Thursday. “Over the past several years the Division has reinvested over $42 million back into the parks to add and improve recreational opportunities, infrastructure, and facilities.”

The statement attributed the rising cost to an increase in operating costs and visitation numbers.

State parks visitation levels fluctuated wildly this year, with admissions nosediving during the spring lockdown and then skyrocketing as safety regulations were relaxed during the coronavirus pandemic, officials said.

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