Pay stations damaged

SOMEONE isn’t too happy about user fees at the Imperial Sand Dunes. Vandals wrecked several automated pay stations at the site, leading the Bureau of Land Management to offer a $5,000 reward for information leading to arrests.

The pay stations, owned and operated by concessionaire Central Parking Corp., collect fees of $25 (for a week) to $90 (for a season) from visitors who ride buggies, bikes and quads on the dunes east of El Centro. The fees were boosted substantially last year. A BLM spokesman said the vandal or vandals disabled one pay station and damaged three others on or about Oct. 30. The area remains in use, except that visitors who normally use the now-broken Ogilby pay stations are being redirected to the nearby Buttercup or Dune Buggy Flats stations. Permits are also available by calling (877) 415-1381. Tips on vandals should go to Special Agent Craig Moore at (760) 337-4404.

-- Christopher Reynolds