AUGUSTA, Maine--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Maine residents and visitors looking for a quick and easy way to buy Maine state park passes once again can purchase the affordable season passes online.
The Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands (BPL), under the Maine Department of Conservation, is offering a secure, convenient method of purchasing season passes to all 48 state parks and historic sites with use of the new online system.
The online purchase system has been completely reconfigured by InforME (Information Resource of Maine), the state’s online-information developer. In test mode for the past two weeks, the system already is being used successfully by park-pass customers, according to BPL officials.
“We are very pleased to be able to offer this easy, secure means of buying Maine state park passes to Mainers and our out-of-state visitors,” Will Harris, BPL director said. “Maine state park passes are the most affordable way for families to enjoy the great outdoors and all the wonderful, fun experiences that our state parks and historic sites have to offer. Maine state park passes – and this convenient purchase method -- allow and encourage people to go not once, but many times, and also to many parks.”
“We want to give excellent customer service, whether it’s for Maine state park passes or for state campground reservations and this safe, secure online purchase system is part of our outreach,” Charlene Daniels, BPL reservation supervisor who oversees park pass sales, said.
The Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands offers two types of seasonal passes for day use at all the bureau’s state parks and historic sites: a vehicle park pass, costing $70, that permits entrance to all occupants of a 1-ton/17-passenger vehicle; and an individual park pass, costing $35, that allows access only to the pass holder.
Last year, more than 2.6 million people visited Maine’s state parks and historic sites, and BPL sold almost 12,000 park passes, the greatest number in the past 10 years, Daniels said. Some 10,207 vehicle passes were sold, with 1,236 individual passes and 282 senior passes, for people 65 and over, purchased, she said.
BPL offers four different ways to buy park passes, the reservations supervisor said, adding, “We want to reach all of our customers as efficiently and effectively as possible.” Most people buy park passes when they make a visit to a state park; others use their Maine state tax form to make their pass purchase.
“It’s very convenient for people to take it out of their tax return,' Daniels said. “It’s very helpful to us too because the purchase is made before the busy park season begins. Other people contact the BPL reservation center directly,' she said.
Daniels said she initiated the online purchase service in 2006, realizing that “the technological world was beginning to take off, and more of our customers wanted to use online technology to purchase park passes.” Online sales have grown substantially each year, and last year, the BPL center sold about 2,000 park passes online, she noted.
There are a number of advantages to purchasing Maine state park passes online, the BPL official pointed out. Park passes can be purchased easily, conveniently and securely at any time of day and during any season, Daniels said, adding that there is a seven-day processing period. This makes park passes excellent for gift giving during the Christmas holiday season and for such occasions as birthdays or Mother’s Day, a big sales day, she said.
In general, “a huge percentage of people who do buy park passes buy them for gifts,” Daniels said.
The online system also makes it easy and effective for out-of-state visitors to buy their park passes, she continued. “It’s more convenient for them because they’re going to be in Maine on vacation, and they’re planning ahead,” Daniels said. “The park passes are a great deal and easier to buy.”
The new InforME system is simple to use, requiring just a credit card, the reservation supervisor said. Customers can reach the site through the maine.gov or BPL home pages, going directly to the website, or by doing an online search.
After reaching a welcome page, they then can begin the process by selecting the type and number of passes they require and completing the billing information. The payment service is secured through the use of the CyberTrust-certified Maine.gov payment engine. Customers receive not only their passes, but also a copy of the popular “Outdoors in Maine” map brochure describing all of Maine’s state parks and historic sites.
The system has been in place since June 15, and already about 125 customers have made park pass purchases online, Daniels said.
“I think it works very well, and it’s simple enough for people to use easily,” the BPL reservation supervisor said. “I have not had one negative comment about the new system.”
For the online park pass system, go to: http://www.mainestateparkpass.com.
To contact the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands Reservations Call Center, call: In Maine, 800-332-1501; Outside of Maine: (207) 624-9950; TTY: 1-888-577-6690
Or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about Maine state parks and historic sites, go to: http://www.parksandlands.com.
Maine.gov (www.Maine.gov) is the official Web portal of the State of Maine and a ten-time winner in the Center for Digital Government’s Best of Web competition. Maine.gov is a service of the Information Resource of Maine (InforME), a collaborative effort between the State of Maine and Maine Information Network, LLC. Maine Information Network is the official eGovernment solutions partner for the State of Maine. The company builds and manages interactive government services on behalf of the state and is a wholly owned subsidiary of eGovernment firm NIC (NASDAQ: EGov).