Parking discount in Vail?
Vail, CO Colorado
VAIL, Colorado – Winter parking rates are settled, but an idea to offer discounts to people who stay in the Vail parking structures past 6 p.m. is still being floated around in the town of Vail.
Vail Attorney Arthur Abplanalp proposed the idea to the Vail Town Council on Sept. 21, and heard positive reactions from several council members.
The gist of the idea is to give people who have parking in the structures all day a $10 discount if they stay past 6 p.m. Abplanalp said the town could like make up some of the difference in extra sales tax revenues from people shopping and dining longer, plus it wouldn’t be a bad public relations move, either.
“The council’s emphasis and mine is improving the experience for people visiting Vail, and keeping them out of traffic (along Interstate 70) while they’re having a good experience in Vail,” Abplanalp said.
Abplanalp spoke with Public Works Director Greg Hall last week about the idea – Hall is working on some figures to present to council in early November.
“It’s a matter of balancing,” Abplanalp said. “What is the town comfortable with as far as financial impacts balanced with the desire to give people a good experience?”
Hall is working on the specifics of the idea as well as some variations of it, but council response at the Sept. 21 meeting was nothing but positive.
Councilwoman Margaret Rogers called it a “brilliant idea,” while Councilman Andy Daly suggested the deal only be valid on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in order to reach the target audience – skiers from the Front Range.
One central theme around parking that has remained steady during council discussions this year is to keep things simple so people actually know what their parking options are this winter.
Abplanalp likes the weekend-only idea for the discount, since those parking Monday through Thursday are not necessarily Vail’s target audience.
The hit to town parking revenues could be anywhere from $291,000 to $420,000 if the deal is offered seven days a week, and about half that if the deal is only offered on the weekends including Fridays.
“The question is whether it grabs the target audience and is it worthwhile,” Abplanalp said.
He doubts the deal would be enticing enough to actually bring people to Vail, but if that happened the deal could die from its own success because of more cars coming to town and potentially more overflow days on the Frontage Roads. Abplanalp doesn’t think that would happen, though.
“I would be surprised if people came up just to save $10,” he said.
Community Editor Lauren Glendenning can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.