Park under the park
Vail doesn’t have a lot of options for making more room for parking but the town has to get cars off the frontage road.
A world class resort shouldn’t resemble a musical festival, with cars lining the roads for miles, on busy weekends.
We like the idea of building a garage under Ford Park and relocating the ball fields on top of the parking structure. We see mainly upsides to this idea.
Some have warned the town would be giving up some valuable open space. But the town is surrounded by millions of acres of open space. Furthermore, Ford Park is a bit regimented ” it’s not the kind of park where you can sit and have picnics unless you want to get trampled by a lacrosse player.
Also, we presume, a lot of people who play in the rec leagues live downvalley and would be just as happy not to have to drive through Dowd Junction to get to their softball games.
And the ballfields could be recreated on the roof of any future Ford Park parking garage. Crews could probably even figure out how to put real grass up there.
If the town does go ahead with this plan, we hope Vail Resorts will help pay to build any new garage. If the resort company isn’t willing, perhaps the town could tie funding for a new garage to the approval of any major redevelopment Vail Resorts brings forward in the future.
What seems to be often forgotten in local debates is that the town and the resort are inseparable. When one has a parking problem, they both have a parking problem and everybody in town suffers.
But when one has a solution, they should work together as closely as possible. What’s good for the town is good for ski resort, too.