VAIL, Colorado - While winter parking revenues were down last winter as more and more visitors to the town utilized the free two-hour parking, the Vail Town Council isn't ready to make any changes to its winter parking program for next winter.
There were fewer parking transactions in both of the town of Vail's public parking garages - with 36,462 fewer transactions in 2011-12 than in 2010-11. Council members Tuesday, however, recognized that comparing one of Vail's worst seasons in terms of snow (2011-12) to its best-ever snow year (2010-11) isn't an accurate way to study whether the parking program is successful.
"This was such a strange and different year that I think to make wholesale changes at this time I think are premature," Councilman Ludwig Kurz said. "I think we'd be remiss if we tried to, based on the last year, make changes that we might not need to make ... ."
The town brought in nearly $2.7 million in parking revenue this past winter, compared to about $3.8 million in 2010-11.
One thing that was obvious in 2011-12 is that the new strategy to let people park for free for the first two hours, rather than the previous 1 1/2 hours, was working, Councilwoman Susie Tjossem said.
She added that while that program might decrease overall parking revenue, it has been an economic driver in that people now have enough time to shop and dine, which adds to town sales tax revenues.
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