Vail hikes parking rates |

Vail hikes parking rates

VAIL, Colorado ” Saying they want to encourage people to take buses and carpool, the Vail Town Council on Tuesday hiked the price of parking at the town’s garages.

A full day of parking will cost $25, up from $18 to $20 last year.

“Americans are in love with their automobiles, and they love to drive,” said Councilman Farrow Hitt. “We need to find a way to change people’s habits and encourage them to use rapid transit.”

The town saw the 2,500 spaces in its Vail Village and Lionshead garages fill 48 times last year, which forced overflow parking to the frontage roads. Vail tries to limit the number of days cars are on the frontage road to 15.

The council voted 6-1 to approve the rates, with Mayor Dick Cleveland casting the dissenting vote.

“My concern is that we drive locals to Beaver Creek,” Cleveland said, citing the county’s other ski resort, which has free parking at its base.

The proposed price increases seemed too great, Cleveland said.

“I’m not sure this is the time to be making this big a step,” he said.

Chris Jarnot, chief operating officer of Vail Mountain, said Vail Resorts supported the increase. Other ski resorts charge around $25 for a day of close-in, covered parking, he said.

“On a comparative basis, I’m relatively comfortable with that,” Jarnot said.

At the meeting, the town also moved to increase prices for Blue, Silver and Gold passes, which will cost $1,100, $1,800 and $3,250, respectively. Prices for pink and green passes will stay the same, at $100 and $500.

“We are purposely trying to discourage people from driving in because we have a supply and demand problem,” Hitt said.

Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 970-748-2929 or

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