Promoting free thought for a fee

Costs: Like other vacation spots, Chautauqua is filled with additional expenses.

August 25, 1999

CHAUTAUQUA, N.Y — CHAUTAUQUA, N.Y. -- Even the people who own homes on the grounds of the Chautauqua Institution must pay a fee to get in during the season.

Chautauqua is a gated community; admission is charged every day but Sunday, although children under 12 and adults over 90 get in free. Tickets range from $6 for an afternoon, to $190 for a week, to $815 for the nine-week season.

Once you're in, there are other expenses. Admission is charged for some entertainment (this year's performers included Wynonna and the Beach Boys), theater and opera. There are fees for classes, and tuition for Chautauqua's children's school.

Visitors can stay in denominational houses, inns, guest houses, rental apartments and houses or hotels. There are restaurants and shops, too.

Not everything has a price tag. Lectures, services and poetry readings are free, as are symphony and dance performances.

There are also exhibitions of work by visual arts students, and performances by the many music students who come to Chautauqua each summer to learn from professionals.

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