Illinois Ups Holiday Camping Fees
The state of Illinois hiked some camping fees for campgrounds in state parks, fish and game areas, recreation areas and forests for holidays, effective Memorial Day weekend, according to the Belleville News-Democrat.
The new fees took effect last Friday (May 23). However, those who had already reserved campground space for the Memorial Day weekend were not required to pay the increased fees. The increased fees will be in effect for the Fourth of July weekend and Labor Day.
The state will double the $5 surcharge for electric hookups at state parks, and campers using premium sites will pay an extra $10 per day fee on holiday weekends. The state estimates 1.1 million people camped in state parks and forests in 2006 and expects the increased fees to add about $2 million to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources' (DNR) annual revenue.
The fees were increased to help the DNR pay for higher electric and maintenance costs. The state lost about $900,000 last year in utility costs because of heavier electrical loads from newer motorhomes, according to the DNR.
The state operates 74 campgrounds at its parks and forests with the most popular campgrounds in the southern part of the state.