Vail neighborhoods need to pull together
It takes a village. While this saying is often applied to raising a child, it can also be used to highlight the cooperation that will be needed to ensure there is adequate parking and housing for our guests and our employees into the future. Vail businesses depend on having enough available parking to welcome all guests and enough housing to attract and retain the seasonal work force needed to serve our guests. The town of Vail, Vail Resorts, Vail businesses and the Vail community have been asked to work together to find solutions for the parking demand and employee housing needs.Vails parking task force is hoping this sense of cooperation will prevail when one community is asked to allow a change in the character of their neighborhood for the greater good. The Chamonix neighborhood now is being asked if it will support a temporary park n ride lot. The proposed parking lot would be on the future site of the next affordable housing complex and fire station to be built in Vail. For now, the site contains the now-closed Wendys and a large meadow. The proposed temporary parking lot would hold up to 200 cars, providing free parking for employees and skiers commuting to Vail. This is one of several proposed parking solutions that would leave more beachfront parking for our guests. Lately when parking is discussed, the finger-pointing starts. But the bottom line is that even if a new parking structure was started today, it would not be ready for cars this season, so temporary solutions are needed. The Chamonix neighborhood is being asked to approve this temporary parking lot to help protect and ensure Vails business sector stays viable. If you were in their shoes (homes), would you be willing? Are all of Vails neighborhoods willing do whatever it takes to maintain Vails No. 1 status? Are we all willing to make the concessions needed to ensure there is adequate parking and employee housing, even if it is in our back yard? Vails parking task force also will be making recommendations to preserve and protect available daytime parking for shoppers and diners by continuing to set aside two-and-a-half-hour parking spaces at Lionshead and Vail Village. In addition, to support the business community, the Free after Three parking will continue. Vails parking rates, based on supply and demand, hopefully will encourage car pooling and use of public transportation, leaving more parking for our guests. The Vail Chamber and Business Association staff and board members participate on task forces, committees and commissions to ensure the business community is represented and its needs are heard. Our fall membership drive is under way. Call the chamber at 970-477-0075 to learn how you can benefit.Susie Tjossem is a board member of the Vail Chamber & Business Association and Executive Director of the Colorado Ski Museum.