More people than ever before are visiting the Army Corps of Engineers office at Lake Monroe, and traffic at the Bedford office of the Hoosier National Forest has picked up in the past month — all because of the National Park Service’s senior pass. Seniors want to grab their pass before it jumps in price next month.
The cost of the lifetime pass for senior citizens is increasing from $10 to $80, the current cost of an annual parks pass. The change — a 700 percent increase — will take place Aug. 28. The National Park Service announced the price increase in April.
If people don’t purchase the senior pass online, they have to travel to an office of a federal recreation site to purchase them.
In June, AARP wrote several articles about the hike in price and the National Park Service sent out media releases. That’s when the Hoosier National Forest offices in both Bedford and Tell City saw a drastic increase in demand for the senior passes.
“We’ve sold out twice,” Andrea Crain, public affairs officer with the Hoosier National Forest, said Thursday.
To meet the demand, the forest service requested 500 passes, and then the next week ordered an additional 1,000 passes, which were delivered on Thursday. “We’re very well stocked for now,” Crain said.
Crain estimated the two offices are selling between 40 and 50 senior passes a day. So far in July, the Tell City office has sold 254 senior passes and more have been sold at the Bedford office