The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore plans to use thousands of dollars generated through a new fee for visiting the ice caves this winter to cover the cost of additional staff and equipment.
Officials are calling the fee sustainable after it brought $140,000 in revenue, a portion of which was shared with the National Park Service. But the Apostle Islands were left with $134,700 and will use the money to hire temporary employees to prepare for next season and for other visitor services.
The park instituted a $5 fee for visitors age 16 and over as a cost-recovery measure after 138,000 people visited the ice caves within a two-month period last year.
WDIO-TV reports the caves attracted 37,800 visitors this year even though they were only accessible for nine days.
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