Grandfather Mountain features natural habitats where guests can see and photograph native wildlife such as bears, cougars, otters, a golden eagle and deer in natural situations from close range. Photo by Helen Hopper
Thursday, December 19, 2013
(Last modified: 2013-12-19 09:15:47)

Source: The Watauga Democrat

Starting Jan. 1, visitors to Grandfather Mountain will notice an increase in admission costs.

Admission for adults (ages 13-59) will be $20, seniors (ages 60 and older) $18 and children (ages 4-12) $9 each. Children younger than 4 are always free.

The increase in admission cost comes after a decision from the North Carolina State Legislature to expand the state sales tax to include ticket sales at nonprofit attractions throughout the state.

Based on visitation during 2013, Grandfather Mountain’s sales tax bill in 2014 is likely to increase by $200,000 or more, officials with the mountain said.

“Because we are a nonprofit corporation, everything we make from ticket sales goes back into preserving Grandfather Mountain and making it accessible to visitors,” said Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation Executive Director Penn Dameron.

“We try to set our ticket prices at the  lowest level that will enable us to meet our expenses, so unfortunately when our tax burden increases our ticket prices have to increase, as well.”

Since 2009, the Grandfather Mountain travel attraction has been owned and operated by the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving Grandfather Mountain and sharing its wonders in ways that deepen visitors’ appreciation of nature and inspire good stewardship of the earth.

Guests purchase tickets (one ticket per person) and drive their own vehicles through the park, stopping along the way to enjoy a variety of activities.

The cost of admission covers everything in the park, including the Mile High Swinging Bridge, the Nature Museum, various hiking trails and different picnic areas scattered throughout the park.

Admission also includes entrance to the Grandfather Mountain wildlife habitats.
These natural outdoor enclosures are home to black bears, river otters, bald eagles, cougars and white-tailed deer, and give visitors an up-close perspective of the animals as they live in the wild.

The Stewardship Foundation relies on admission sales to underwrite the expense of operating the travel attraction and nature park, as well as conducting research, education, and conservation activities.

For more information, visit or call (800) 468-7325.

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