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Some Oregon Coast RV Sites Will Get More Expensive for Non-Residents

Published 09/23/21 at 5:26 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Some Oregon Coast RV Sites Will Get More Expensive for Non-Residents

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(Tillamook, Oregon) – Oregon officials have been toying with the idea for years and now a new surcharge for out-of-state tourists using RV sites at state campgrounds will go into effect sometime in 2022. Non-residents will pay an extra 25% for camping fees at Oregon coast state-run campgrounds, as well as the rest of the state. (Above: South Beach State Park, Newport)

The extra fees do not apply to city, federal and county RV campsites – only those run by Oregon State Parks. They also do not apply to tents, yurts and other non-RV sites. These sites provide some combination of sewer, power and water hookups in the state park system's 56 campgrounds.

Currently, the cost for RV sites is $24 to $40 per night, a fee that remains the same for residents. The surcharge to out-of-staters will bring the bill up to $30 to $50.

Senate Bill 794 was passed early this summer, hiking the surcharges, not long after Oregon experimented with a surcharge on all out-of-state campers in 2020 to discourage outside visitors during the heights of COVID-19. While that extra fee disappeared, this bill came about partially because of an extra load on the state park's camping system, especially for recreational vehicles and their campsites on the Oregon coast.

Oregon State Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) said recently that Oregonians already pay extra registration fees for recreational vehicles, about half of which goes into the state parks system. This adds some fairness to the price structure that non-residents would be paying more into it. The extra revenue that will be generated is estimated to be over one million dollars the first two years and over two million dollars the second two-year period.

With the OPRD operating budget about $260 million annually, this is still a fairly small amount. Fees for state parks do not make much of a dent in running them, state officials say. Most state park funding comes from other sources, including Oregon Lottery. However, these minor increases in revenue will help, especially with the parks' aging infrastructure, which makes small repairs costlier each year.

Numerous other states around the nation already have similar fee structures for out-of-state campers, with Oregon finally catching up to the standard. However, one challenge that lies ahead is determining which camper is from where.

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Cape Lookout State Park

Moolack Beach, Newport

Bullards Beach State Park, Bandon (courtesy OPRD)

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