Keep the card – get the discount
The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the Department of Environmental Conservation announced early-bird savings for online renewals of the 2020 Empire Pass. Customers who keep their existing card and renew online before Jan. 1 will save $15 off a single or multi-season pass. Those users who renew online from Jan. 1 to March 31 will save $10 – and any online card renewals after those dates will receive a $5 discount from the standard price.
A press release said, “By keeping their card and renewing online, customers enjoy greater convenience and easier access to state parks for the 2020 season.”
The Empire Pass program provides unlimited day-use vehicle entry to state parks, boat launch sites, arboretums, park preserves and DEC forest preserves. By renewing online, Empire Pass-holders will keep their existing card and not have to wait for the pass to be mailed to them nor face waiting in line at the park to pick up a new pass during peak season.
“State Parks offer a rewarding experience that further connects visitors with the outdoors,” Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said. “By continuing to offer affordable and convenient options to take advantage of the Empire Pass, we are encouraging more people to enjoy the parks next season and explore New York state.”
DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “The Empire State is home to some of the most spectacular State Parks, historic sites and public lands anywhere in the world. The Empire Pass is the key to unlocking the breathtaking beauty and exciting experiences awaiting visitors to New York’s outdoors, and there’s never been a better time to buy one. Save time and money this holiday season with the perfect gift idea for the outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers on your list.”
Existing pass-holders can renew for the 2020 season (online only) at shop.parks.ny.gov/renew/. The special renewal savings applies to the single-season pass, as well as the multi-season passes. On the Empire Pass page, pass-holders can simply find "Renew My Pass," enter their existing Empire Pass card number located at the bottom left of the card and their email address, and then follow instructions for renewals and payment. Cards become activated 24-48 hours after purchase.
New customers can purchase Empire Passes for $80 online at parks.ny.gov, or by phone 518-474-0458. Three-season and five-season Empire Passes are available to new customers for $205 and $320, respectively. The lifetime Empire Passport can be purchased for $750. With no expiration date, people who love the outdoors can use the lifetime pass to enjoy the parks forever.
State Parks also encourages New York's seniors age 62 and older to take advantage of the “Golden Park” program, which provides them free entry into state parks on weekdays (excluding holidays) by simply showing their driver's license or state-issued non-driver I.D.
State Parks oversees more than 250 parks, historic sites, recreational trails, golf courses and boat launches, which are visited by 74 million people annually. A recent study found New York parks generates $5 billion in spending, which supports nearly 54,000 jobs and over $2.8 billion in additional state GDP.