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CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) — The entrance fee at a popular New Mexico attraction was raised for the first time since 2012.

The Carlsbad Current-Argus reports the fee at Carlsbad Caverns National Park was upped Tuesday from $10 to $12.

Park officials say the fees are a “critical” source of funding for the park, with 80 percent of the generated revenue staying at the park to pay for visitor services and projects, while the other 20 percent is used to support other national parks that do not charge entrance fees.

Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce CEO Robert Defer says he believes tourism numbers will remain strong despite the higher cost of visiting Carlsbad’s most well-known attraction.

The park is in the midst of upgrading its main elevator system, which is expected to be operational by May.


Information from: Carlsbad Current-Argus,