Beaver Creek to charge for skier parking at Elk, Big Bear lots
BEAVER CREEK — Addressing the resort’s need for managing its parking and transportation system for guests, Beaver Creek will begin charging $10 per vehicle per day for the Elk and Big Bear lots.
After 1 p.m., parking in the Elk and Big Bear lots will be free.
The changes will take effect for the 2016-’17 ski season.
“It addresses the need to make sure that Beaver Creek is offering the best experience,” said Rachel Woods, the resort’s senior communications manager. “In the past seasons leading up to now, we’ve noticed that it becomes congested and this is a solution that’s going to make the parking process and the transit process very smooth.”
Season passes may be available, and the public would be made aware well in advance of the season if they are, Woods said.
Ford Hall and Villa Montane parking structures will keep their paid-parking fees of 60 minutes free and up to $35 for more than four hours. Arrowhead parking will remain free. Overflow parking will be moved to Prater Road and the Rodeo Lot in Avon.
There will be reserved free employee parking at the Wolf and Little Bear lots.
Additional shuttles will travel more frequently to the Big Bear and Elk lots, Woods said, reducing transit time.
“Usually I go right to the Bear Lot,” said Edwards resident Scott French, who rides at Beaver Creek almost every day in the winter. “That means I’ll probably be parking at Arrowhead all season. Bear was convenient.”
Parking at Elk and Big Bear lots “consistently exceeded their capacities during the 2015-’16 ski season,” according to the Beaver Creek news release.
The Bear Lot is on U.S. Highway 6 across from Agave. The Elk Lot is on U.S. Highway 6 near the Beaver Creek roundabout. Until now, parking has been free yearround at the lots, which are serviced by shuttles that carry guests to Beaver Creek Village.
PARKING IN THE COUNTY
Avon has free parking, some with time limits, across town, including on-street parking on West Beaver Creek Boulevard, Lake Street, the lot around the recreation center and other areas of town.
There is a booting company that monitors parking on private lots in Avon.
“They will boot cars as soon as they see someone walking off their property,” said Jennie Fancher, mayor of Avon. “I feel like we live in an area where people really like convenience, so my guess is people will pay to park; maybe they’ll carpool more.”
On June 1, 2015, the Eagle County Regional Airport began paid parking at two of its four lots.
Paid parking was implemented in conjunction with the airport’s 20-year master plan that included projects requiring other forms of funding, said Greg Phillips, aviation director at the airport.
“Parking at many airports is the largest form of income they get,” he said.
In the first 12 months of paid parking at the airport, Phillips said just under $100,000 was generated.
“We have a lot of people using the free lot,” he said, “but we still have seen a growth in the utilization in the paid lots.”
In Vail’s parking structures, parking is free in the summer. In the winter, parking is free for up to two hours, $15 for two to three hours, $20 for three to four hours and $25 for four or more hours ($10 less than Beaver Creek’s Ford Hall and Villa Montane four-plus hours parking).
“Now it’s a straight kick in the face to all of the locals,” French said. “The people it’s really hurting are the people in Eagle, Edwards and Avon.”
One vehicle came to rest in the eastbound lanes of I-70 and the second vehicle came to rest on North Frontage Road. One occupant of each vehicle was ejected during the crash.