Vail changes parking rate structure and pass prices ahead of ski season

By approving new parking rates and passes for the 2022-2023 ski season, Vail hopes to reduce excess frontage road parking, encourage carpooling and more.
Dominique Taylor/Vail Daily Archive

VAIL – With crowded parking lots, cars lining frontage roads as well as safety concerns and sustainability goals to consider, Vail City Council this week approved changes to its parking rates and passes. pass before the 2022-23 ski season.

“Parking isn’t easy,” Greg Hall, the city’s director of public works and transportation, said at the September 20 city council meeting, adding that it touches on the city’s four priority areas of community, economy, experience and environmental sustainability.

“It’s always a balancing act and there are no winners or losers, it’s really a compromise throughout,” he added.

This winter, the City hopes to achieve several objectives by modifying its parking program. This includes managing peak days through increased fares and offers of additional transportation modes and parking spaces; reduce the number of overflow days on service roads; fill out the city’s outlying lots and improve the overall safety of the city.

Over the past four ski seasons, the town has seen an increase in overflow days on South Frontage Road. During the 2021-22 season, this overflow parking lot was used 53 days, compared to 35 days during the 2020-21 and 2018-19 seasons. However, to align with agreements it has with the Colorado Department of Transportation as well as its climate action goals, the city aims to only use this parking lot for 15 days over the next season.

Additionally, Hall reported to the board that during last year’s ski season, which lasted 174 days, the Vail Village structure filled up 67 times.

“When you fill up your structures that much, you start closing off access to our businesses, our cities and things like that,” he said.

Vail Town Hall approved its new parking program at its meeting on Tuesday, October 4. The program was based on recommendations from a parking and mobility task force created earlier in the year, which was made up of representatives from the retail, food service and hospitality communities as well as from the city community at large, Vail Resorts, the city council and the sustainability community.

From this upcoming ski season – which for Vail Mountain is program to begin Nov. 11 — this program includes changes to the city’s fee structure as well as the parking passes it offers to residents, employees and employers.

To address some of the parking overflow and congestion, the plan sets two-tier rates for off-peak and peak days. For the upcoming winter — of the projected 164 days of the ski season, 51 will be considered “peak” days.

Primarily, these peak days include all Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from mid-December to March as well as a number of holidays such as Martin Luther King Day and Presidents Day which are also “blackout dates”. » on certain ski passes.

The plan also sets out a number of fare increases, with pricing determined by whether you hold a pass, what pass you hold, where you park, and whether it’s a busy day. or not.

A screenshot of the new off-peak day rates at Vail’s parking lots and parking lots.
City of Vail/Screenshot

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