GCPBA Newswire, July 29, 2006
NPS Answers Questions
Stage III Lottery
Opens August 21 - Close August 28th
Lottery Questions, Answers, and Updates
In a question answering correspondence with Rich Phillips, GCPBA Vice
President, Steve Sullivan, head of the GC River Permits Office
responded to Phillips question, "why is the time period for the
initial lottery so short?"
Sullivan replied "I don't like the short registration period either,
and there are two reasons we don't want to postpone the lottery any
longer. The first regards the small lead time until the January
launches. (We saw with our winter test release that winter dates
needed to be released with as much lead time as possible if they were
going to be taken.) The second is purely budget related (we have to
ensure the exact amount taken in by the lottery is clearly identified
and then spent by September 30th). People can expect the lottery to
occur a few months earlier next year and remain open for a longer
Rich also asked if there would be other registration methods
available besides the internet. Sullivan responded "Yes, there will
be an alternate (non internet) registration method as well, and we
will be posting that form by mid-August. They will not be based on
postmark date -- just that they are in the River Permits Office by
the same deadline (we will encourage fax submissions for this reason)."
In regards to publicizing the lottery announcement, Sullivan offered
"I aim to have the park do so through press releases in a couple of
weeks (once we are positive about dates, etc.). Remaining waitlist
members are being notified at this time through the mail. We also
have the information available on our website, and we expect GCPBA
will also spread the word. Keep in mind, however, that the point
isn't to advertise and drum up more interest, it is just to be
forthright with the public and reach as many as possible of the
people who have expressed interest in the past. If there is a smaller
applicant pool, that just means those that apply will have better
chances than they would have otherwise."
Further Lottery Detail
When will the first lottery take place?
We hope to open up the lottery for applications starting August
21st and close the lottery at the end of the day on August 28th. On
August 29th the data will be downloaded and processing will begin for
at the River Permits Office. These dates may be postponed if the
software is not ready in time.
Will the new lottery software be completed in time for the first
lottery in late summer 2006?
Yes and no. The software development process for the web based
system has been divided into three separate components. The first
component will be completed on time, but the other two components
will not. The whole site will be a work in progress for the first
The first component will be completed by the lottery drawing
date. It includes a way for all applicants to setup their own
profiles (each applicant will have their own login name and password.
It also includes a way for existing waitlist members who choose the
"extra chances" option in Transition Stage 3 to be credited with
their "extra chances" for the lottery. Finally, it includes the
actual application forms and payment links.
The second component will not be completed until January
2007. It involves more advanced features including the internal code
needed to automatically run the lottery online. Because this
component will not be completed in time for the 2006 lottery (for
2007 dates), the 2006 application data will be downloaded to the
River Permits Office used by staff members to process the lottery
applications and award trips.
The third component will not be completed until the summer
of 2007. It involved the advanced management and maintenance features
as well as all reporting.
What dates will be available in this lottery?
In the 2006 lottery there will be 201 total launches available
for various dates throughout the 2007 calendar year. 153 of those
dates will be for standard sized trips (1 16 participants), and 48
will be for small trips (1 8 participants).
Standard Size Trips (for 1 16 participants):
* Jan 4,5,7,8,10,11,13,14,16,17,19,20,22,23,25,28
* Feb 2,3,5,6
* Mar 4,4,6,7,7,8,9,9,11,12,12,13,14,21,23,24,28,29,30,3 1
* Apr 18, 19
* May 7,8,11,12,16,18,19,24,29
* Jun 12,13,14,27,29,30
* Jul 6,7,12,13,14,19,20,21,26,27,28,30,31
* Aug 10,11,15,16,17,20,
* Sep 6,7,7,8,9,11,11,12,13,13,19,21,23,25,26,27,27,29,2 9
* Oct 7,11,12,13,18,19,19,20,25,25,26,27,27,28,29,29,30, 31,31
* Nov 8,9,10,15,16,17,22,23,24,26,27,28,29,30
* Dec 4-9,11-14,16-22,24-31
Small Size Trips (for 1 8 participants):
* Apr 6,12,14,18,20,22,26,28,30
* May 4,10,12,14,20,22,24,26,28,30
* Jun 5,7,9,15,19,21,23,25,27,29
* Jul 3,7,13,19,21,23,25,27,29,31
* Aug 10,14,16,18,20,22,24,26,28
If in the lottery I am listed as a Potential Alternate Trip
Leader (PATL) under a leader who is awarded a launch, can I continue
to apply in subsequent year's lotteries?
You can apply in the next year's lottery, and you will have 1
chance. Chances are reset to 1 whenever one is a member of a
successful application or one participates in a commercial or
When can the permit holder cancel?
Any time, but the fees they paid will remain nonrefundable. For
a standard sized trip, $400 is due with the application (a deposit
that applies toward the final cost of the permit), and the remainder
is due 90 days before launch. Failure to pay on time will result in
cancellation of the permit.
If I am successful in getting a trip through the lottery, can I
still invite whoever I wish to be participants on my trip? Can these
people have been listed on other applications? Can these be people
who were not on the waitlist?
Within the maximum group size limits, you can invite anyone onto
your trip who will not have been on any prior commercial or
noncommercial trip through the Lees Ferry to Diamond Creek section of
the river within the same calendar year. This can include people who
were on the waitlist, people who were not on the waitlist, and people
who are already planning to participate on other trips in other years.
Transition Stage 3 began on July 26, 2006. Remaining waitlist members
are each being sent personalized letters explaining their options and
telling them how to proceed. In this final stage of the transition
process, no launch dates are being awarded. Instead, all remaining
waitlist members are removed from the waitlist and given the chance
to accept one of the two following options:
1. Refund: The waitlist member can leave the waitlist and accept
a refund of the total fees they paid Grand Canyon National Park for
their current spot on the waitlist, or
2. Extra Chances: The waitlist member can leave the waitlist and
accept an extra chance in the lottery for each year they had been on
the current waitlist. These extra chances do not expire and can be
reused in the lottery each year the former waitlist member applies
until that person is awarded a trip or participates in another
noncommercial or commercial trip through any part of the Lees Ferry
to Diamond Creek section of the Colorado River.
Why Might a Person Choose to Accept a Refund Instead of the Extra
There are many reasons an existing waitlist member might choose the
refund option. Here are a couple key reasons:
1. The person is no longer interested in obtaining their own
noncommercial trip through the canyon.
2. The person believes they will lose their extra chances before
they could win a trip through the lottery. For instance, this might
be the case if the person plans to be a participant on another
noncommercial or commercial river trip through Grand Canyon within
the next few years. As soon as they participate in another trip, they
will lose their extra chances. For these people, taking the refund
might be the better option.
If you have any other questions, please call or write the River
Permits Office. If necessary we will add to or modify this list of
Frequently Asked Questions publication and make it available on our
internet site. Thanks for your patience, and good luck in the new
system and throughout the transition.
US Postal Service Mailing Address:
River Permits Office
P.O. Box 129
Grand Canyon, AZ 86023-0129
Address for Other Carriers:
River Permits Office
#1 Village Loop Road
Grand Canyon, AZ 86023
Email address: [email protected]
Phone (800) 959-9164
Cancellation Line (92
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