We are committed to providing climbers with affordable, safe access to the Gunks cliffs and want to try to briefly respond to concerns voiced in this email thread about the recent day fee increase. (Please feel free to contact us directly if youd like a more detailed explanation. See Contact Us
You've asked why we are increasing fees again. The cost of doing business has gone up significantly. Unfortunately the cost of fuel, equipment and protecting the land is quickly outpacing our ability to attract donations and grants. To provide climbers and all visitors with the same level of service, we have no choice but to increase day fees to help cover the costs. (For more on the many ways we are seeking to fund these increasing costs, see the Mohonk Preserve Annual Report
.) The day fee increase has nothing to do with our Visitor Center, which was totally funded by a separate capital campaign in the late 1990s.
You've also asked why climber fees are increasing more than others. Climbing members previously paid a higher premium for accessing the Preserve than day users. Previously, climbing members paid a 70% premium in addition to their hiking membership to climb at the Preserve, while a day climber only paid 30% more than a day hiker. Now the burden is shared by day users and members.
Climbing costs more than hiking: There are significant costs related to allowing rock climbing at the Preserve such as increased insurance and the costs of specialized rescue operations and additional facilities. We also have one of the best-trained, vertical rescue teams in the northeastern United States. This kind of training is the result of thousands of staff hours and requires state-of-the-art equipment.
We hope this answers most of the concerns you raised. Thanks very much for your support of the Preserve.