Pay-to-park stepping up at kings Beach park |

Pay-to-park stepping up at kings Beach park

Beginning in mid-to-late June, visitors to the Kings Beach State Recreation Area and the North Tahoe Regional Park in Tahoe Vista will be greeted by a gate and paid-parking stations.

The move will enforce parking fees set by the North Tahoe Public Utility District. In addition to the pay stations, a variable parking rate system has been established for the Kings Beach State Recreation Area that differs from the current flat rate fee of $7 during peak season.

Steve Rogers, the public utility district’s general manager, said the pay stations are expected to raise additional revenue for the maintenance of the parks, upgrades and addressing accessibility issues.

Rogers estimated that $100,000 will come in through the pay stations at the Kings Beach parking lot, which is a conservative estimate, he said. That lot is currently bringing in $80,000.

“The new system provides the opportunity for the district to capture revenue from these facilities that has escaped us in the past,” Rogers said.

Visitors to both areas will be greeted by a gate instead of a kiosk attendant. In Kings Beach, users will take a ticket at the gate, park and at the end of the day, walk to the pay station, put the ticket into the machine, add any validations they may have gotten at area businesses and pay the total amount. The machines will take cash, debit or credit cards and locals can use an access card that they put money on.

“Long-term parkers will pay more and short-term parkers will pay less” than the current fee, Rogers said.

In Tahoe Vista, visitors to the park will have to pay the $3 entry fee upon entering the gate.

“What we’ve observed is that no one pays when no one is there,” Rogers noted. “It will be a change, but fees are already in place. Our goal is to do a better job of collecting those fees and make it a little cheaper for locals.”

The new changes will not affect the Coon Street Boat Launch or the North Tahoe Beach in Kings Beach.

Pam Jhanke, executive director of the North Tahoe Business Association, said she thinks the changes are good for the park and community. She also noted that there will still be free parking at the Brook Street parking lot and on the streets.

“They are being really responsive to all the issues,” Jhanke said. “It will really help our community if the park is maintained at a higher level.”

Locals who live within the boundaries of the North Tahoe Public Utility District can obtain a local’s access card for free. Cards are available at the NTPUD Administrative Office, 875 National Avenue, Tahoe Vista, or by calling (530) 546-4212.

Currently the rate is $5 and free for residents in the winter. Summertime use is $7 with locals paying $2 mid-week and the full amount on weekend.

Starting in June, visitors will pay $4 for the first two hours and $1.50 per hour after, up to a $9 all day maximum rate. Holders of the NTPUD Locals Discount Card will receive a 25 percent discount and park for free after 5 p.m. Those dropping people off will get to enter and exit for free for the first 15 minutes.

Fee Rates for the North Tahoe Regional Park

$3 entry free. Holders of the NTPUD local’s discount card will get to park for free.

May 22 8 a.m. Workshop for business members. Call Pam Lefrancois at (530) 546-4212 to attend.

May 25 6 p.m. Public workshop. No RSVP required.

Both meetings will take place at the North Tahoe Community Conference Center in Kings Beach. For more information, call (530) 546-4212.

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