Colorado Parks and Wildlife hired RRC Associates to conduct a research study with Colorado residents to determine the interest and best price point of the new annual state park pass. The Keep Colorado Wild Pass allows annual access to the 43 state parks and the revenue would also support the state parks system, search and rescue, avalanche education, additional staff, and more. Starting in 2023 residents will be charged $29 for the pass during vehicle registration with the Division of Motor Vehicles unless they choose to opt-out.
The online survey portion of the study was completed by 2,217 residents and indicated high levels of interest in the Keep Colorado Wild Pass. If the pass was priced between $14 and $29, the study showed that the annual revenue would grow. However, if the pass was priced between $29 and $32, the revenue would stall, and if the pass cost more than $32 the revenue would decrease. The description of the RRC Associates’ study and results are found here: Keep Colorado Wild Pass Pricing Study Technical Report 2022.
In 2021 the Keep Colorado Wild Pass was created with legislation to help increase revenue for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. There were 6.5 million vehicles registered in Colorado in 2021, so with that many vehicles being registered, the pass could generate more than $54 million a year for Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s state parks, up from the $22.9 million in annual state park pass sales in 2020. Colorado Parks and Wildlife does not use taxpayer money and the extra revenue from increased pass purchases will help with expenses due to the increased volume of visitors to the state parks.
Montana, Michigan and Washington have also offered state park passes through vehicle registration with different prices and approaches than Colorado, some require opting in to buy the pass, while some require opting out like Colorado.
RRC Associates conducts research studies for various government agencies and park systems.back to blog