Vail Daily’s View: Paid parking: Where it’s logical, or ridiculous in Vail Valley
Vail, CO, Colorado
There are two ideas floating around in the Vail Valley to start charging people for parking that is now free.
One makes sense, the other ” considering the quality of the parking in question ” is ridiculous.
It’s somewhat remarkable that parking is free at the Eagle County Regional Airport and therefore, not much of a shock that officials there are seriously considering fees that would help maintain the lots.
The airport also hopes to prevent passengers from leaving their cars there for more than a month.
It the airport needs some extra revenue, parking is an obvious place to get it ” especially if the fee increase starts at zero. Most people expect to pay for parking when they leave their car at an airport, and there should be scant outrage at this idea.
Vail, on the other hand, does have an outrageous parking idea, and that’s to charge skiers and snowboarders for parking along the frontage roads on busy ski days.
Now, parking ” unlike snow, shopping, lodging and restaurants ” is not one of Vail’s great products. It’s one thing to charge people to park in a dark, chilly parking garage when they still have to stumble down Bridge Street to get to the lifts. And it’s another to nickel-and-dime precious guests to park miles away.
Charging for parking on slippery, dangerous frontage roads is a surefire way to lose some customers in times when every skier and snowboarder counts.
We understand the Colorado Department of Transportation feels an urgent need to do something about safety on the sometimes perilously congested frontage roads, but charging is not a solution.
How can Vail expect skiers and snowboarders to grin-and-bear having to pay when they still sometimes have to ride a bus or walk a while to get to a chairlift?
Right now, people probably stomach because they can at least tell themselves (or friends and family who might be thinking of spending some money in Vail) that though the parking was incredibly inconvenient, at least it was free.
Paying seems to make something an official product. Frontage road parking is not something Vail wants to sell.
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