Sacramento Bee Story on Yosemite Scalpers

by Ted on April 25, 2011 

Part of the Sac Bee Story: Read the whole article at the link above

“One San Diego computer expert said it is obvious to him that the park’s reservation system in general has become vulnerable to unscrupulous wheeler-dealers.

The 49-year-old systems engineer, who did not want his name published for fear of reprisal from online profiteers, said he discovered the Craigslist ads after repeated attempts to get legitimate reservations failed.

Initially, he said, he and his wife commandeered the phone and computer and contacted reservations at precisely 7 a.m. on Feb. 15. The telephone line was busy; the Web site was "inaccessible," he said.

By the time he reached a reservations person at 7:15 a.m., the park was sold out, he said.

The following month, he recruited 20 family members to make a full-scale assault – 10 by phone, 10 by Internet. This time, he said, a reservation clerk informed one family member at 7:15 a.m. that all the Valley sites again were gone, with only a few outside the Valley remaining.

The San Diego man later spotted a Craigslist ad, and was quoted $560 for seven nights at two campsites in the Valley. He declined the arrangement, describing such profiteers as "thieves of our national park system."

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