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Aztec Ruins National Monument eliminates entrance fee

The Daily Times staff
Aztec Ruins National Monument, seen here lit up on Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017 during the Evening of Lights celebration, is now a free destination. Fees are no longer collected for admission.

FARMINGTON — Aztec Ruins National Monument eliminated its $5 entrance fee at the beginning of May, according to a press release from the national monument.

The announcement came after staff conducted a cost-benefit analysis and found the costs associated with running the fee program were not sufficient to justify keeping the entrance fee, according to the press release.

The national monument will also stop selling the national parks and federal lands passes. The passes can still be bought using a mail-in application from store.usgs.gov/recreational-passes. They can also be purchased at other federal recreation sites.

“The time that employees have spent collecting fees and managing the program can now be directed to some of the core missions of the National Park Service — including resource protection and visitor services,” said Acting Superintendent Cliff Spencer in the press release.

The national monument will have a donation box in the visitor center for people to donate to the park’s interpretive program and other projects, according to the press release.

The decision comes less than a month after Chaco Culture National Historical Park announced plans to raise entrance fees.