AUSTIN, Texas — It was a controversial move: A group in charge of a popular hiking trail in West Austin charging people to use it.
The trail is in the River Place neighborhood off 2222 along Lake Austin, and the district has already collected $35,600, but the cost to do so was almost as high.
The trail is a place where people come to get away, but the trail fee almost took that from some hikers.
"I think $10 is a bit steep, $10 per person? That's especially if you wanted to bring a family. Family of four, family of five, that's a lot of money," said one hiker.
The latest change allows hikers and their animals to come during the week and unpopular hours for free.
"You know, it's always subject to change. We have the right to basically modify the hours, and we have been modifying the hours," said Scott Crosby, the president of the River Place Limited District.
The River Place Limited District is the group that put in that fee to help maintain the green spaces, like the parks and trails.
Though it brought in that $35,600, Crosby says the change itself cost them $35,000 to collect.
"So it hasn't been a gangbuster in terms of profitability," he said.
He said it's a work in progress and will change as other things change.
So, while some hikers don't mind paying the fee to get away ...
"To treat myself I would probably come over, but it wouldn't be more than once a month," said one hiker
"Yeah, and I've talked to friends and stuff and they're like, 'Nah, I'm not gonna pay the fee,'" said another. "I don't want it to come across as I'm complaining about it, it's their right to charge ... so we'll come when it's hotter."
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