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Looking at Discover Pass two years later

By Kylee Cruz, KXLY4 Reporter, kyleec@kxly.com
Published On: Sep 29 2013 09:06:17 PM CDT
Looking at Discover Pass two years later
SPOKANE, Wash. -

Spokane is known for being near nature, near perfect, but for the last two years, outdoor enthusiasts have had to shell out some extra cash to use state parks.

The Discover Pass was created in 2011 as a way to raise funds to keep state parks open.

Rachel Baker is an avid mountain biker who comes to Riverside State Park weekly, but riding in the park now costs $30 a year. Baker took that change, in stride.

"I mean people pay that a week in coffee so I'd rather support it and get some exercise out of it," Baker said.

Park officials say people are catching onto the idea that you have to pay to play. Sales for the first year of the pass were $15.7-Million while year two sales generated roughly $16.6-Million.

It's a modest growth in sales but Washington State Parks is pleased with the numbers.

"Overall, I feel like our compliance has been much better this year than in years past, probably increasing as the years go by," Riverside State Park Ranger, Brian Frahm, said.

Park users we talked to didn't seem to mind spending a little money to walk in the wilderness.

"I get it, I think the closer you can get taxes to the people who actually use the services, the better off government functions, so I like that kind of a tax even though I have to pay it," park user Tim Baris said.

"We like to support the parks. I know it takes a lot of money and time to keep the trails maintained in the parks," Baker said.

It's now easier to buy a pass too. At Riverside State Park, they now have automated pay stations. You can buy a day pass for $10 or an annual pass for $30.

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