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Re: Park service is investigating scalped sites

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Park service is investigating scalped sites
July 23, 2011 09:07PM
We stayed last Sunday in Upper Pines. When we came back to our site after rafting the Merced, a ranger was talking to our neighbors. Then, he came to our site and said (paraphrased) "I'm not here to kick you out or fine you, but I want you to know that you obtained your site illegally." I was floored, to be honest, because I had gotten the site on recreation.gov

At first, he said to me, well, this site was reserved by someone with a (Chinese name ending in Chan) and he wanted to know what website I obtained the site from. I told him that, no, that wasn't correct, but he wasn't convinced. I don't know if he thought we felt threatened and were lying, or what, not sure, but it took me producing my email printout of the confirmation to convince him that we had, indeed, gotten the site by legitimate means.

He had our site listed on his paperwork, but it was hand written and he said he had written down the site numbers at 4 am and was tired and must have transposed a number. I mentioned to him that I was aware of the scalping problem and he asked me to tell him everything I knew. Frankly, I know very little, I mentioned this site and that the ads are posted for us to flag, that was about all I could say.

When he left, my neighbors came over to talk. Turns out they paid 100 bucks a night to the scalper for their site. I was shocked to say the least. But he really didn't seem too concerned, stating that it costs more to stay in Oakhurst and drive in every day, which they had done on their last trip.
avatar Re: Park service is investigating scalped sites
July 23, 2011 10:29PM
That's disappointing to hear he wasn't looking to kick people out. What's the point of having a rule that isn't enforced?
Re: Park service is investigating scalped sites
July 24, 2011 11:52AM
Quote
mbear
That's disappointing to hear he wasn't looking to kick people out. What's the point of having a rule that isn't enforced?
He seemed to be coming with the attitude that the campers were victims of the scalpers. My neighbor "pretended" to not know it was illegal or against the park's rules, but I suspect he knew and didn't care. He mentioned that his kids cried when he told them they wouldn't be able to go camping in Yosemite this year.
avatar Re: Park service is investigating scalped sites
July 24, 2011 01:42PM
His kids cried? What did expect you/the ranger to say to that?

What about the poor people who can barely afford the $20 a night, and can't go because all the sites were snapped up by scalpers now charging $100? A problem he contributed to.

One of the most important lessons I learned as a child was that you can't always get what you want, no matter how much you cry.
Re: Park service is investigating scalped sites
July 24, 2011 01:50PM
No, he said his kids cried at home, when he told them he didn't think they would be making it to Yosemite that year. To be honest, I don't know how true that story is, they were all teens and some were obviously high school age. He may have been exaggerating.
avatar Re: Park service is investigating scalped sites
July 24, 2011 02:16PM
Right now I'd guess that they're not looking for bad publicity from booting out "victims" of the scalpers. There's a chance that anyone booted might go to news outlets claiming that the Park Service is heavy handed.

I'm guessing that they're really trying to target the scalpers. I'd be surprised if they haven't already assembled a list of names, accounts, credit card numbers, and addresses used by people who have booked way too many sites and/or have transferred reservations. It sounds like they have people they already suspect, but are trying to get more solid information that these people are actually flipping sites before accounts are suspended or restricted.

What would probably be most effective is to lock out specific accounts and credit card numbers from being used to reserve Yosemite sites. It might be somewhat of a Band-Aid until they finally go ahead and only release cancelled reservations back to the reservation office (and not online). Some people have multiple credit cards, and I could imagine ways of getting around a system locking out numbers could be considered credit card fraud.
Re: Park service is investigating scalped sites
July 24, 2011 02:30PM
Yes, he had names of the people who had made the reservations, then sold them. They are doing their best to crack down on the problem it seems to me.
avatar Re: Park service is investigating scalped sites
July 24, 2011 11:55AM
Quote
hotrod4x5
.... Turns out they paid 100 bucks a night to the scalper for their site....

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The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
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