State Parks Pass Fee Being Included In Every Colorado Vehicle Registration
If you live in Colorado, it's soon going to cost you more to register your vehicle, but the good news is you'll get a state parks pass out of it.
$29 Fee Being Added to Colorado Vehicle Registrations
The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission has approved a $29 fee that will be added to every vehicle registration in the state as a way to generate more than $54 million in revenue for Colorado's 43 state parks. At first glance, it may sound a little shady that Coloradans would be forced to purchase a state parks pass. However, before we get too bent out of shape over it, there are a couple of things to understand that could help the medicine go down.
What If I Don't Want An Annual State Parks Pass?
First of all, while the $29 fee is being added to every vehicle registration in 2023, drivers who don't want the annual parks pass can choose to opt out and don't actually have to pay the additional fee. It sounds like the fee is going to automatically be added to your vehicle registration unless you opt-out, which means some people may end up paying the additional fee without realizing they actually have a choice.
Secondly, the additional fee is actually a great deal for Colorado residents because the annual state parks pass normally sells for $80 to $120. Making the state parks pass more affordable will open the parks to more people in the future, and will provide much-needed revenue for the operation of Colorado's 43 state parks.
Why Is This Happening?
By reducing the price and focusing on quantity, the state expects to double the revenue they normally get from the sale of a regular annual pass. The pass will cost less, but the expectation is that more people will buy it.
According to the Colorado Sun, other states like Montana, Michigan, and Washington have enacted similar programs and found them to be highly successful.
I kind of hate to admit this, but in my 20 years of living in Grand Junction, I've never coughed up the money for an annual state parks pass. But, for $29, I'm all in and I will gladly pay it when the time comes. And because I am getting a parks pass out of the deal, I expect I will do more exploring and experience more of Colorado's great outdoors than I ever have before.