New York State Parks Introduces Online Empire Pass Renewals at a $10 Savings Now Through March 31, 2019

Convenient New "Keep The Card" Option Continues Customer-Friendly Improvements for Annual Pass Program
Monday, November 19, 2018

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation today announced the introduction of online renewals for the 2019 Empire Pass beginning now through March 31, 2019. By renewing online, customers can now enjoy greater convenience by keeping their card and receive a special loyalty savings of $10 per card for the 2019 season.

The Empire Pass program provides unlimited day-use vehicle entry to state parks, boat launch sites, arboretums, park preserves and Department of Environmental Conservation forest preserves. By renewing online, Empire Pass-holders will keep their existing card and not have to wait for the pass to be mailed to them nor face waiting in line at the park to pick up a new pass during peak season.

This latest "Keep The Card" enhancement to the program continues significant user-friendly improvements made over the last several years including: moving from an affixed vehicle decal to a wallet-size plastic card that can be shared within a household expanding access for families and caregivers; implementing bar code and embedded chip technology for easier entrance to park facilities, particularly those with automated entries; and shifting the valid dates of the Empire Pass to the calendar year.

"Our goal is to encourage people to visit state parks, and we continue to offer new options that make it easier and quicker to connect with the outdoors," said Rose Harvey, Commissioner of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. "Opting to renew online is fast, better for the environment, and a now a value with the special renewal savings. With these refinements, it will be more affordable and more convenient than ever for New Yorkers to take advantage of the Empire Pass and enjoy the parks next season."

"The Office of Information Technology Services is pleased to partner with the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to deploy technology that makes it easier for people to visit parks across New York State," said New York State Chief Information Officer Robert H. Samson. "Allowing park visitors to renew their Empire Pass online is the latest example of how we are harnessing the power of technology to deliver innovation that matters ... for all New Yorkers."

Existing pass-holders can now renew for next season (online only) at parks.ny.gov, saving $10 off the standard $80 price when they "Keep The Card." The special renewal savings is good through March 31, 2019, and applies to the single-year pass, as well as three- and five-year passes. On the Empire Pass page, pass-holders can simply find "Renew My Pass", enter their existing Empire Pass card number located at the bottom left of the card and their email address and then follow instructions for renewals and payment. Cards become activated 24-48 hours after purchase.

New customers can purchase Empire Passes for $80 online at parks.ny.gov, or by phone 518.474.0458. Three- and five-year Empire Passes are available to new customers for $205 and $320 respectively. The Lifetime Empire Passport can be purchased just $750. With no expiration date, people who love the outdoors can use the lifetime pass to enjoy the parks forever.

State Parks also encourages New York's seniors age 62 and older to take advantage of the Golden Park Program, which provides them free entry into state parks on weekdays (Monday through Friday, excluding holidays) simply by showing their driver's license or state-issued non-driver I.D.

About ITS

The New York State Office of Information Technology Services (ITS) was created in 2012 to transform IT services in an effort to make New York State government work smarter for its citizens and enable the state to be accessible for businesses through the use of technology. ITS provides statewide IT strategic direction, directs IT policy and delivers centralized IT products and services that support the mission of the State. ITS operates data centers 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to support statewide mission-critical applications for over 50 Agencies, over 17 million citizen accounts, 120,000 employee accounts, 60,000 phones, 99,000 desktops and laptops, and 3,433 Virtual Desktop remote connections. ITS operates a secure network of over 1,600 miles of fiber to deliver telecommunications, Internet and Intranet services, enterprise email systems and support, IT training, networking, data storage and processing to State government entities in addition to developing new services in support of citizens, businesses and State Agencies.

For more information, visit https://its.ny.gov and follow us on Twitter @nysits.

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