Ski resorts across the country are shifting more and more towards paid parking lots. Park City is set to require paid parking reservations this upcoming season, Stowe is charging $30 for weekend and holiday parking, and many other resorts have either required paid parking or optional paid lots for better locations. Whatever your thoughts are surrounding the practice, it’s happening.
The Town of Vail already charges drivers for a majority of their parking lots, but this season, things might change even more. according to Summit Daily. Parking in the most recent season wasn’t easy, and there were often days of overflow hitting the town’s roads. The Vail Town Council is seeking to have only 15 days per winter of overflow parking while also attempting to reach certain greenhouse gas reduction goals.
For those goals to be met, the town would need to reduce parking by 300-400 cars per day, with a further 10% overall reduction in order to reach the 2025 greenhouse gas reduction goals. While several recommendations have been tossed around, it’s likely that parking rates will be the only aspect to see changes this upcoming season.
A dynamic pricing model, changing the pricing depending on the day, is the most likely rate modification. With this model, weekends, holidays, and some more unique weekdays (like days beginning or concluding three day weekends) would be more expensive than normal weekdays, with a total of 50 peak pricing days throughout the season. The current zero to two hours of free parking may also be reduced, with pricing now kicking in at 30 minutes. Three hours of free evening parking past 5 p.m. has also been proposed, rather than the current 3 p.m. evening start time.
Again, whether you like it or not, resorts will be charging more and more for parking. Yes, it’s upsetting that there are more fees being introduced into skiing, but, honestly, if resorts and mountain towns offer alternatives like solid shuttle routes so those who actually live in the town don’t have to pay for parking, than it is what it is. The town of Vail, in this case, seems to offer a pretty solid bus system, so in theory, this increase in price would only heavily affect those traveling to the mountain for the day. I don’t really see that as much of a bad thing. It would be bad if a mountain with little to know village starting charging for parking in every lot without excluding employees, but that’s not what’s happening here. Also, I know a lot of people like to hate on Vail Resorts, but I really want to make it clear that this is the Town of Vail’s choice to increase parking, not the resort’s!
Image Credit: Vail Mountain on Instagram