The United Motorcoach Association was represented by Ken Presley, Vice President of Industry Relations and Chief Operating Officer, when a new National Park Service (NPS) advisory board met for the first time in August.
The committee spent much of the meeting, held in Washington, D.C., discussing the $12-billion backlog of deferred maintenance and facility needs facing NPS. Board members met with Dan Smith, NPS acting director, and David Vela, acting deputy director of operations.
The tourism and motorcoach industries have been facing NPS proposals to drastically increase commercial use authorization (CUA) and entrance fees that would be levied to increase revenues for the needed repairs.
“I am hopeful that with this new advisory board in place and the delay of the CUA implementation, we can turn this around to a more workable plan to the benefit of everyone,” said Stacy Tetschner, President and Chief Executive Officer of UMA. “The challenges facing our NPS are real and need resolution that benefits the parks and is fair to those of us who use them.
“UMA joined with other participants from the travel and tourism industry to assure a continued constructive dialogue and to highlight our unique relationship with the NPS and the importance of working together for the benefit of our mutual guests. From inbound international groups to school charters, the National Park Service is part of the fabric of the motorcoach industry,” Tetschner said. “As we work toward resolutions, it’s important that they know we understand the foundations of their challenges.”
Presley “conveyed our members’ strong interest in the board’s work to meet various challenges facing our parks,” Tetschner said. “UMA is poised to monitor their progress, convey important developments to our members and strongly advocate for consideration of our businesses and customers in any proposed solutions.”