Montezuma Castle, Tuzigoot may raise rates

Tuzigoot National Monument

Tuzigoot National Monument

CAMP VERDE - Montezuma Castle and Tuzigoot national monuments will hold three public meetings in November to discuss possible fee increases in 2015.

The current park entrance fees have been in place since 2006.

Entrance fees are not charged to persons under 16 years of age or holders of the America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Senior, Access or Military Passes. These passes may be obtained at the park.

"We have kept our entrance fees to a minimum. However, with an increase we will be able to provide our visitors with additional activities and improved facilities," said Montezuma Castle and Tuzigoot National Monuments Superintendent Dorothy FireCloud.

Part of the fee money collected at Montezuma Castle and Tuzigoot has been used on site to upgrade the electrical system and to stabilize and reinforce the bookstore floor at Montezuma Castle's visitor center. The interpretive signs along the monuments' trails were also modernized using fee money. Additional revenue raised by a fee increase will be used to upgrade the picnic area at Montezuma Well making it more accessible to visitors with disabilities, as well as building a picnic shelter. Future plans also include building a ranger talk area at Tuzigoot with a shade shelter to provide greater comfort for our visitors.

Montezuma Castle and Tuzigoot National Monuments are strong economic engines for the surrounding area. In 2012, more than 552,693 park visitors contributed $29 million to the local economy and supported 421 jobs related to tourism.

The first meeting will be held at the Monument's downtown headquarters located at 527 S. Main St., Camp Verde on Wednesday, Nov. 12, from 3 to 7 p.m.

The second meeting will be at Tuzigoot National Monument located at 25 W. Tuzigoot Road, Clarkdale on Thursday, Nov. 13, from 3 to 7 p.m.

A third meeting will be held at the Board Room of the Beaver Creek School, 4810 E. Beaver Creek Road, Rimrock on Saturday, Nov. 15, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Another public meeting hosted by a number of National Parks in Arizona, will be held in Phoenix, that date is yet to be determined. When the date and place is finalized notice will be published.

If you are unable to attend any of these meetings, comments may be made at the following website: http://parkplanning.nps.gov/MOCATUZIfee.

Following the public meetings, feedback will determine how, or if, a fee increase would be implemented.

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