NASHVILLE, Tenn. (March 7, 2022) – There is an old saying, “cash is king.” Times are changing, and cash isn’t king anymore.
Across the nation, COVID – 19 is changing the way businesses interact with consumers. As an effort to reduce contact between people, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, passed in March 2020, mandates a move toward cashless payment systems. Visitors to the eight lakes within the Nashville District will see these changes implemented at the beginning of the 2022 recreation season.
In preparation for the 2022 recreation season, the Nashville District installed 19 VenTek cashless pay machines across Lakes Barkley, Center Hill, Cheatham, Cordell Hull, Cumberland, Dale Hollow, J. Percy Priest, and Old Hickory. The VenTek automation service is designed to help parks and recreational areas collect admission fees and issue passes without manning a tollbooth.
According to VenTek, “Our automated fee machines can collect entry fees for one day or multiple days and even issue passes for an entire year.” VenTek touts the capability of their machines, “In addition, they can be used to collect the fees for services, such as camping space management, firewood, pay showers, tours and more.” The VenTek machines feature both English and Spanish and take all debit and credit cards.
Before the implementation of the cashless system, park rangers spent a considerable amount of time pulling each cash box, counting cash and money orders, and validating fees, at every park. The new VenTek machines alleviate these time-consuming tasks, allowing park rangers more time and opportunities to interface with the public.
Ashley Webster, a park ranger at Center Hill Lake, discussed the upcoming changes, noting, “our parks are now 100% cashless – people will not be able to pay with cash.” Throughout the day, multiple visitors ask Webster and other park rangers if credit cards are accepted; a question, until now, was always met with “no”. “In the past, would go to the nearest ATM to withdraw money. Sometimes, they wouldn’t return because they were frustrated by the process.” The new VenTek machines introduce an easy to use method of payment, reducing the potential for visitors to leave because they do not have cash.
While the machines were part of a COVID – 19 risk mitigation mandate, Webster notes the machines help the Nashville District continue to move toward the future. “If you watch customers checking out at a store, rarely they use cash. These automated pay stations are transitioning [the district] towards the future.”
For more information on the 2022 recreation season, please click the following link: https://www.lrn.usace.army.mil/Missions/Recreation/Camping/
For more information on VenTek systems, please visit: (https://ventek-intl.com/service/parks-and-recreation-ticketing-solutions/)
(The public can obtain news, updates and information from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District on the district’s website at www.lrn.usace.army.mil, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/nashvillecorps and on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/nashvillecorps.