Yosemite National Park Strikes Back Against Campsite Scalping
Yosemite National Park has begun a crackdown on scalpers who are buying campsite reservations and reselling them at a drastic mark-up, creating a highly competitive market for tent space. NPR reports that the U.S. National Park Service has re-enforced the website where reservations are sold, helped flag reservations sold on Craigslist and eBay, and begun assiduously checking I.D.s against reservations.
The park became concerned earlier this year when the online sale of reservations seemed to end impossibly fast, leading officials to conclude that a computer program, not people, was buying the reservations.
Campers using reservations bought second hand may now be turned away by park rangers. Reservation prices should head back down to $20, but a lot of campsites will also be left empty – unless the computer program really does want to go camping.
Camping in Yosemite has been particularly popular this summer after a harsh winter left a massive snowpack in the hills, inflating the already scenic waterfalls into massive torrents.
Unfortunately, majesty is a double-edged sword. One hiker died and another is presumed to have also been killed on Wednesday when the pair was swept off a bridge and into the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir.
Millions visit Yosemite annually and many of the would-be campers who arrive looking to pitch their tents are turned away after the daily campsite lottery.
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