The mooring fees in the National Park around St John went from a great $15 a night to $26 a night on January 1st and I now know why. Turns out the US government has a rule stating federal agencies can not undercut local prices for services and products. Well given that the BVI charges $30 a night for moorings this is considered the local price and the NPS had to raise the mooring fees.
Never mind that it is in an entirely different country and people on boats are not going to take the time to check out of the BVI and check into the USVI just to save $15 on a mooring fee. This is the Federal Government we are talking about and I am sure they never make a mistake or an arbitrary decision without figuring out the true reality. So we are all good.
As far as why it is now $26 instead of $25 is because of the Senior Pass. With this pass people over 62 get half off park fees around the country. This means $13 for the St John moorings, because the park did not want to deal with 50 cents. Of course it does not really explain why they had no issue with the 50 cents when the moorings were $15 for years and years, but once again we are dealing with the infallible Federal Government.
So there you have it, the reason for the price increase. Please note I also learned the park will be enforcing three rules with hefty fines. They are a 5 MPH speed limit in the mooring fields, no drones within 2000 feet up and out of the park, and no underwater lights because the little fish are attracted and get decimated by the big fish. I personally agree with each of these for safety, privacy, and ecological reasons.