If you’re planning a trip to an ACC hut, there are some policy and fee changes that might affect your trip: we’re increasing our overnight rates, extending facilities benefits to all ACC members and opening up our hut benefits to members of other nations’ alpine clubs.
Hut fees going up – our first increase in eight years
Our hut fees, which are presently $25 and $36 per night (for members/non-members), have been unchanged since 2007. The ACC is a non-profit organization and we want people to get into the backcountry – we figure the more people know and love the wilderness the more they’ll value and want to protect it. So we do our best to keep our rates as low as possible.
But costs increase. Everything from firewood and propane to helicopters and staff wages factors into our day-to-day running of the largest network of backcountry huts in North America. There are also capital costs – some of our huts have been around for 90 years and we take seriously our stewardship of them. We also have a commitment to responsible policies for water, energy and waste management in the backcountry with the goal of coming as close as possible to zero impact on the areas in which we operate facilities.
The rate increase, our first in eight years, will go into effect immediately and apply to overnights at huts from November 1 onward. The new rates will be $30/night for members and $40/night for non-members. Overnights between now and November 1 will be charged the current rate. Overnights that have already been booked for November and beyond will stay at the current rate. Beginning today, all new bookings for November 1 and on will be charged the new rates.
Membership changes – extending facilities benefits to all ACC members
Getting the preferred rates (and advance booking privileges) at ACC huts presently requires a Facilities Upgrade to a membership which is a $24 add-on. Years ago, the idea was to provide a modular membership. Now, to simplify our membership structure we’re removing that surcharge and extending our facilities benefits to all members. Beginning November 1, all members of the ACC will receive the huts benefits of lower rates and the one-year advance booking without having to purchase an upgrade.
For our members who regularly purchase the Facilities Upgrade, this amounts to a savings of $24 per year. For our members who do not regularly purchase the Facilities Upgrade, this means additional benefits for the same membership price.
This membership change will also take place on November 1. So, if you’re booking a hut between now and November 1, you’ll still need a Facilities Upgrade if you want the lower rates and advance booking privileges.
Welcoming UIAA members
The ACC is a member of the UIAA, the international union of alpine clubs. Our third adjustment to hut policies is to officially extend our hut benefits to these other federations. How this affects ACC members is that we are actively pursuing reciprocity with those federations, looking for discounted rates for ACC members at their huts. This will be ongoing and we’ll update our members with our progress.
Let us know what you think
As of November 1 this year we’ll be simplifying our membership structure and giving more benefits to more members; we’ll be making our hut system stronger by ensuring we’re covering the costs of servicing and major upgrades; and we’ll be connecting with other alpine clubs, trying to add further benefits to ACC membership. We’d love to hear what you think of these changes, or about anything else related to the Club. You can leave a comment below or contact Rick Gardiner, Facilities Director directly.