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New parking fees for Kauai state parks debut Friday

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State officials said out-of-state visitors and commercial tour buses will begin paying parking fees at Waimea Canyon and Koke‘e State Parks on Kauai, starting Friday.

Parking will be free for Hawaii residents but will cost $5 per vehicle for visitors and $10 to $40 for various sizes of commercial vehicles. In addition, there will be a $1 per person fee for pedestrians, mopeds and motorcycles.

The announcement comes a week after new parking and entrance fees were implemented at Ha‘ena State Park, which reopened June 17. Republic Parking is managing parking and entry at all three state parks.

“With Hawaii seeing record numbers of tourists we are simply at the point where we need visitors to share in the increased costs to maintain our parks,” said DLNR chair Suzanne Case in a news release, adding that over 10 million are projected for this year.

The fees come at a time when the State Parks division has suffered from loss of revenue due to natural disasters, according to the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.

State Parks issued thousands of dollars in camping refunds following the closure of Ha‘ena State Park due to the devastating floods on Kauai last April. No additional camping fees were collected during the 14-month-long closure.

In addition, the closure of the Nuuanu Pali Lookout on Oahu due to rockslides in February also contributed to an additional loss of fee-based parking and entry revenue.

State Parks estimates it will experience a $100,000 shortfall by August.

The following fees will be in place for Waimea Canyon, Koke‘e State Parks:

Resident: no charge

Visitor: $5 per vehicle

Pedestrian, moped, motorcycle $1 dollar per person

Commercial PUC vehicle:

1-7 passenger vehicles: $10

8-25 passenger vehicles: $20

26 or larger passenger vehicles: $40 (Waimea Canyon only)

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