The Kauai County Council is planning to implement a new $10 fee for visitors at some of its Kauai beach parks. The process started two years ago. Then last July, the Kauai Department of Parks and Recreation performed a study that was focused on three beaches in particular. They are Poipu Beach Park, Black Pot Beach Park/Hanalei, and Lydgate Park. The proposed $10 fee is the same as the rates at Kauai’s state parks (Haena State Park and Waimea Canyon State Park).
The bill, which received unanimous county council approval, and will likely be decided on tomorrow, seeks to set fees solely for visitors and not residents. This is purportedly to help avoid crowding at beaches, but could it, in effect, do further damage to the reputation of Kauai tourism? Read on.
One of the bill’s authors said that the intent was to “charge visitors for parking and not to charge residents.” The plan previously set forth was for rental cars to be charged. Ever heard of Turo? They rent cars that might not be identified as rentals. So likely some other methodology will be required
Violation of parking rules would come with a planned fine of $100 for the first ticket and up to $500 after that.
We also wonder how this would work at Poipu Beach or Hanalei, for example, two of the major beaches which have parking lots. Would visitors look for on-street parking in local neighborhoods instead of along busy Poipu Road or Weke Road? It’s possible, in fact likely, that street parking would also be restricted or ticketed, much like we see on the way to Haena Beach on North Shore Kauai.
Would shuttle service play a role?
We wonder if the county is contemplating a shuttle service that stops at various points, including at these County lifeguarded beaches.
Bottom line: We want to avoid biting the hand that feeds us. Fees often give the feeling of bad timing and come across as being yet another questionable Kauai anti-visitor plan.
Keep in mind that Kauai visitors already pay high taxes through their accommodations and elsewhere. Those include the 4.712% tax on pretty much everything, plus 13.25% tax on accommodations. It’s hard not to wonder where does that money go anyway?
Please share your thoughts.
Beat of Hawaii © photo at Poipu Beach Kauai.
Post updated 1/12/22.