Originally Posted by mania
I really do not like the flat fee permit fees like the salt, dinosaur and now cataract canyon since the cost per person is a huge variable until you launch. it's much more clear on westwater ($10pp) or even the grand canyon ($100pp). you ask for a spot you are expected to pay that much.
My buddy just did a cat trip and got screwed. he put out a call for participants and had maybe a dozen lined up. so he thought that's pretty good and went ahead and booked and paid the $200 flat fee. turns out half of them bailed right before the trip so not only had he paid for their spots but also some group food. losers.
You make a good point about salt and dino, and I agree that bailers are losers. But there's really no good reason to book a Cat permit until everyone's practically packed and ready to go, since there's no limit to them... we typically pick it up in Moab the day before or morning of our launch if it falls on a weekday, or maybe a week and half a head of time if we're launching on a Sunday.
If you're buying food without having collected money from the participants and you don't trust them 100% to show up... you're a really nice guy I guess.
That said, if you end up with open spots on a runnable salt trip... I'm happy to help resolve that issue.