DLNR Press Release: FIRST HOURS OF DIAMOND HEAD RESERVATION SYSTEM ARE RELATIVELY READABLE
Posted on May 12, 2022 in Latest news from the department, Press room
(HONOLULU) – An estimated 40% of people who showed up at the Diamond Head State Monument early this morning did not have a reservation. Today is the first of a new “adaptive management” plan to improve the visitor experience at one of O’ahu’s most popular natural attractions.
Before the park gates opened at 6 a.m., a long line of cars stretched from the vehicle tunnel to the park entrance at Diamond Head Road. This created a bottleneck in the tunnel as parking control staff on the other side checked the booking status of people driving and those walking or cycling.
The reservation system, which has been in development for months, is intended to spread visits throughout the day. One day during the 2019 holiday season, some 6,000 people showed up at the park, a situation that Cassandra Springer, interpretive technician for DLNR’s Division of State Parks (DSP), described as “like if she was in a mosh pit”.
“We hope to level out the number of people who come throughout the day, especially during peak hours between 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m.,” Springer said. The online system allows people to make reservations for vehicular and pedestrian entry, as well as parking at Diamond Head and is required for anyone who does not have a Hawaiian driver’s license or coin. government-issued ID. Members of the military must have one of these types of IDs, as one man discovered after walking to the front door without either. He was asked to go online and make a reservation for a later timeslot.
After the first morning rush to get into the park, after the first hour, getting in and out was easy. The walk-in visitors who were turned away, according to Springer, were “pretty nice” and most immediately picked up their phones to make one. However, she said, some were frustrated because it was their last day of vacation and they were hoping to see the famous landmark. State park staff directed these people to other nearby attractions and hikes.
From experience, it should take months for everyone to realize that Diamond Head is the third unit in the state park system to require reservations. Despite the efforts of DSP and visitor industry partners to get the word out, not everyone, especially mainland visitors, got the message. All morning, DSP staff were handing out flyers with booking instructions.
Admission to all state parks is free for kamaʻāina and no reservations are required. DSP and its suppliers plan to adapt the system in the coming months if necessary.
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(All images/videos courtesy of DLNR)
HD video – Diamond Head State Monument (May 12, 2022):
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Photographs – Diamond Head State Monument (May 12, 2022):
Senior Communications Manager