Vail approves parking plan |

Vail approves parking plan

VAIL, Colorado ” A plan was approved Tuesday to add hundreds of makeshift parking spaces for next winter at lots inside and outside Vail.

Those spaces are intended to ease Vail’s winter parking crunch and reduce the number of times cars have to park on the town’s frontage roads. That happened 48 times last winter.

The plan was approved by the Vail Town Council at its meeting Tuesday.

The parking spots for next season ” as many as 500 ” would be at places that include the Chamonix property, the old Wendy’s site, Donovan Park and at Dowd Junction. Creating the lots will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to town estimates.

Vail Mountain’s top executive, Chris Jarnot, said he didn’t know whether Vail Resorts would help pay those costs. But parking is the “weakest aspect of Vail’s guest experience in the wintertime,” Jarnot said.

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Matt Morgan, an owner of Sweet Basil restaurant, wondered whether the new Epic Pass would make the parking situation worse, questioning Vail Resorts’ assertion that the discount pass won’t attract many more cars.

“That boggles my mind a little bit,” he said.

Lots of ideas were floated Tuesday on how to solve Vail’s parking crunch, both in winter and summer.

The town has started delaying the opening of some parts of the village garage ” which is filling up regularly this summer ” to make sure there are open spaces during the day. It is also asking that construction workers ” who are filling up hundreds of parking spaces in town ” park in the Lionshead garage.

One councilwoman suggested that, if those measures don’t work, pickup trucks be banned from the Vail Village garage.

“This is seems to be a very easy Plan B,” Margaret Rogers said.

Another councilman, Mark Gordon, said the town should move quickly to build a parking garage at Ford Park, putting playing fields on top of the new garage.

“If we expedite this, we could have parking under construction by next spring,” Gordon said.

Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 748-2929 or

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