“For the first time in history, we will charge the park across the board,” Jan Polívka told Práv. The mentioned measure has already been blessed by the National Heritage Institute. “If we want to ensure the maintenance of the park, which accounts for half of our budget, at least to the same extent as in the past, then this is an inevitable step. Economic pressure increased. Entrance prices are constantly increasing, but contributions from the state remain practically unchanged,” he said.
Entrance to the thirty-five-hectare site will cost 60 crowns from April to October. Those who are not interested in the park and are only going to visit the castle should also pay – this is paid separately. “But it costs less than last year, we have reduced the basic rate by two cents to 160 crowns. Combined with the park, we are at the average prices that will be paid in other state monuments this year,” Polívka pointed out, according to which tourists heading to the park will also receive a bonus in the form of an accessible chapel, an open greenhouse or sculpture exhibitions.
Bet on decency
There are many paid parks, but Kozl will probably have one first place in the Czech Republic. The castle with the ticket office is located in the middle of the area, but visitors will buy tickets to the park right at the entrance gates. “There will be no turnstiles, but only payment terminals. The check will be carried out randomly in the park by our employee,” explained Polívka.
The castle “auditor” will not have any powers. “If he comes across someone without a ticket, he politely asks them to buy one, he will be equipped with a mobile terminal for that purpose. We cannot issue fines,” said the castellan. And he added: “We don’t expect it to be problem-free. On the other hand, it is common abroad. People also got used to the fact that there are no conductors on trams and that parking fees are paid in machines. We are betting on decency, on the fact that visitors themselves will want to contribute to the maintenance of the area.”
According to estimates, two hundred thousand people pass through the park annually. “Theoretically, we could earn twelve million per year, realistically we count on three to six,” estimated Polívka. And he added: “We will use the money, for example, for new planting or for the reconstruction of the network of park paths.”
Czechs won’t do what they don’t have to
How many people will it turn off? “Time will tell,” responded Helena Mařanová from the Pilsen – Turismus organization. “For those who go specifically to the castle, it probably won’t play a role, those who just go there for walks probably won’t want to pay. People are saving a lot now, they will think twice about every similar expenditure,” she pointed out. “However, it is true that it is completely normal in the world to pay for entry to similar parks,” she added.
And how many visitors will be black in the area? “People will be annoyed that they have to pay for the park, even if they only go to the castle,” pointed out Josef Sýkora, chairman of the Pilsen Club of Czech Tourists. “And as I know our nature, they will avoid being paid. Because if the Czechs don’t absolutely have to do something, they won’t do it,” concluded Sýkora.