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Eagle County considers paid airport parking

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Proposed airport parking fees

First two hours of parking: Free.

Unpaved lots within walking distance (474 spaces): Free.

Long term lots (309 spaces): $6 per day.

Short term lots (554 spaces): $8 per day.

In addition, a variable rate long-term permit lot with 48 spaces would exist for individuals who wish to keep a car at the airport.

To review the contract with Republic Parking, go http://www.eaglecounty.us/Commissioners/BoCC_Meeting_Agendas. Those unable to attend may send comments to Aviation Director Greg Phillips at greg.phillips@eaglecounty.us.

The Board of County Commissioners meets 10 a.m. Tuesday in the Eagle County Building, 500 Broadway in Eagle.

EAGLE — You may soon have the option to pay to park at the Eagle County Regional Airport.

But you won’t have to, said Greg Phillips, airport manager.

The county commissioners are considering Tuesday whether to charge to park close to the terminal — $8 a day or $6 a day, depending on where you park.

The plan provides free parking about a five-minute walk along a paved sidewalk.

“There will still be free parking lots. This is something our users, especially our locals really appreciate,” Phillips said. “We’re not going to take that away. We want to preserve that as an option.”

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The Eagle County Regional Airport is the only one in Colorado that does not have paid parking as an option.

Money matters

Paid parking could generate more than $200,000 a year, money they need for projects in the airport’s 20-year plan, Phillips said. The commissioners approved that 20-year plan two weeks ago.

“This is not something we’ve taken lightly. We’ve been talking about this, and talking with commissioners for a long time,” Phillips said.

Some of those long-term projects will require more money.

The airport does not take local tax money. Funding comes from landing fees, rentals, concessions, passenger facility charges, and state and federal grants.

Parking pays

At most commercial airports, parking fees are the single largest non-aeronautical revenue source. The money is typically used for maintenance and improvements not eligible for FAA capital funding.

“Improving the facilities has to come out of our own hide,” Phillips said. “The FAA is happy to give money for things like runways, taxiways and lighting.”

The roads and walkways and other projects, however, have to come from the airport’s own pot of money. For example, they’ll start with a $9.5 million apron project this summer — the apron is the place where airplanes park.

“The best way is to have the people who use it pay for it,” Phillips said.

Grand Junction charges $8 to park, Aspen $12, Jackson Hole $10, and Denver International Airport is $13 long-term a day for its remote long-term parking.

Some years, the Grand Junction airport made $1.2 million a year in parking revenue, according to that airport’s financial data.

Self-pay kiosks

As proposed, the plan would mean a five-year management contract with Republic Parking, beginning June 1. Republic would install the self-pay kiosks.

The contract outlines tiered payment terms, with the highest tier paying 85 percent of gross revenue to the airport.

There would be no cost to EGE to institute paid parking.

Paid parking at the airport has been brought up several times during the years as the facility has grown.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and rwyrick@vaildaily.com.


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