La Junta, CO – Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site is waiving its admission fees for all of 2016 in recognition of the 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service. Admission to the fort will be free to all beginning on January 2, 2016.
“We think of this as a gift to both the traveling public and local folks for the centennial of the National Park Service,” said Park Superintendent Alexa Roberts. “It seems like a great way to celebrate while at the same time encouraging especially those from the local area who have not visited recently to reconnect with the national park here in their own backyard.”
For all of 2016, the fort’s current daily entrance fees of $3 for adults and $2 for children will be waived. Some special park activities such as Frontier Skills Day and Kids’ Quarters will still include a fee to cover additional labor and supply costs.
“We are looking at this as something of a pilot project,” said Roberts. “We are evaluating for this year-long trial period if the revenues gained from fee collection exceed the costs and labor involved in collecting and managing them.”
“While the park will be free, donations to support the living history program will be greatly appreciated,” continued Roberts. “It is our hope that through donations we will be able to continue to offer the outstanding interpretive programs and events visitors currently experience, and may not have to reinstate fees in the future.”
With the park suspending fee collection, Federal Interagency passes will no longer be available at Bent’s Old Fort. Those passes, such as the Annual Pass and Senior Pass, will continue to be available locally at the Comanche National Grassland Office in La Junta or can be obtained at various offices or fee collection sites associated of the U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service, U. S. Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Reclamation, or Bureau of Land Management.
The National Park Service was established by Act of Congress, signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson, on August 25, 1916. Centennial activities next year center on the theme “Find Your Park” and will kick off January 1 at the Tournament of Roses parade. The parade theme “Find Your Adventure” is the result of a unique partnership between the Pasadena Tournament of Roses and the U.S. National Park Service. The 2016 Rose Parade will help shine light on the centennial celebration of our nation’s national parks. More information on the centennial can be found at www.nps.gov/2016.
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