News Release 11-031
Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission
1111 Israel Road S.W., P.O. Box 42650, Olympia, WA 98504-2650, (360) 902-8500
Don Hoch, Director
Virginia Painter, (360) 902-8562
Sandy Mealing, (360) 902-8559
Telecommunications Relay Service:
Discover Pass on sale at State Parks headquarters and region offices
Jun. 28, 2011 –
Outdoor enthusiasts have an additional way to purchase the new Discover Pass for vehicle access to state recreation lands – the passes are on sale now at State Parks headquarters in Olympia and at regional State Parks offices in Burlington and East Wenatchee.
Fourth of July weekend is one of the busiest weekends for parks and other state recreation lands, and the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission wants to make purchasing the Discover Pass convenient for customers who want to buy in person. Headquarters and region offices are selling the passes to walk-in customers now during normal business hours 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. In addition, State Parks staff will volunteer their time to keep special headquarters and region office hours over the upcoming weekend to sell the Discover Pass to walk-in customers.
The cost when purchasing at State Parks is $30 annual or $10 for a one-day pass (no transaction and dealer fees apply.)
Weekend hours and locations are as follows:
• Olympia: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 2 and Sunday, July 3, at Washington State Parks Headquarters: 1111 Israel Road SW, Olympia, WA 98504
• East Wenatchee: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, July 2 and Sunday, July 3, at Washington State Parks Eastern Region Office: 270 Ninth Street N.E., Suite 200, East Wenatchee, WA 98802
• Burlington: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, July 2 and Sunday, July 3, at State Parks Northwest Region Office: 220 N. Walnut St., Burlington, WA 98233
On an ongoing basis, the Discover Pass can be purchased in person from the offices during regular business hours, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday or at state parks when staff is available.
Visitors also may purchase the pass where fishing and hunting licenses are sold, online at www.discoverpass.wa.gov or over the telephone by calling (866) 320-9933. The total price to purchase the pass through vendors, online or phone is $35 (annual) or $11.50 (one day), which includes transaction and dealer fees to cover the costs of customer service, computer systems, printing, fulfillment and mailing.
The vehicle pass provides access to nearly 7 million acres of Washington state-managed recreation lands – including parks, water-access points, heritage sites, wildlife and natural areas, trails and trailheads. Beginning July 1, the pass must be displayed on vehicles on recreation lands managed by the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. The three agencies will be emphasizing compliance and education over the Fourth of July weekend.
The Discover Pass was created as a way to replace general fund tax dollars no longer available to cover the costs of providing recreation on state lands. Without general fund tax dollars or a new revenue source such as the Discover Pass, the Commission was faced with the prospect of reducing most parks to zero-service, meaning gates shut, power and electricity turned off, no restrooms and no public service or public safety for those who would venture in. As the Discover Pass is being implemented, all parks are remaining open; service reductions such as reduced hours or staffing may be noticed by the public. Revenue from the pass will go to the three agencies in the proportions of general funds reduced – 84 percent to State Parks and 8 percent each to Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and Department of Natural Resources.
The Commission manages a diverse system of more than 100 state parks and recreation programs, including long-distance trails, boating safety and winter recreation. The 98-year-old park system will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2013.