Private firm cashes in on public campsites

Source: Jonathan Anderson, Marshfield News Herald, July 28, 2015

…. A reservation fee that is assessed in virtually every transaction involving a state campground reservation also is tacked on to the cost. Most of the revenue generated from that fee goes to a private contractor, which collects more than $1 million every year from residents and tourists, Gannett Wisconsin Media has found. The company, ReserveAmerica, has been paid an estimated $16.4 million since 1999, when it first entered a contract with the state Department of Natural Resources to manage online and phone reservations for state camping sites, according to data released by the DNR. The company, ReserveAmerica, has been paid an estimated $16.4 million since 1999, when it first entered a contract with the state Department of Natural Resources to manage online and phone reservations for state camping sites, according to data released by the DNR. Of the $9.70 reservation fee, the DNR keeps $1 and the rest goes to ReserveAmerica.