Vail to review summer parking operations
Proposed changes include increased overnight rates at Lionshead, Vail structures, earlier season start and more
As Vail Mountain prepares for its final weekend of the season, Vail Town Council is looking ahead to summer. At its Tuesday, April 18, meeting, the council will review changes to its parking operations, including proposed increases to overnight rates, oversized vehicle fees, event parking and other possible changes.
Town Council will hear recommendations from its parking and mobility task force, which honed in on “overnight rates, messaging information to the community, pass options and event parking rates” in reviewing the previous summer’s parking program and its issues, according to a memo in the April 18 packet.
As proposed, the task force is recommending starting the overnight parking and summer operations over Memorial Day weekend and running through Oct. 1. This is a slightly earlier start to the summer season than 2022, which began its summer program on July 15.
The winter 2022-23 parking program ends with the mountain closing on Sunday, April 23.
For overnight rates, the town may increase prices as well as extend overnight parking to other structures. The proposal includes a $10 to $15 increase in overnight rates at the Vail and Lionshead parking structures, recommending a charge of $35 to $40. This increase, according to the memo, is to bring the main structures “closer to both the rates hotels charge in the summer as well as the winter $60 rate.”
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It is also extending the overnight use to Red Sandstone, charging somewhere between $10 and $25, “encouraging use” of this structure over the others with a lower rate. It’s proposed that the max stay at Red Sandstone would be 14 days with that rate. According to the memo, this is recommended as a more “simple rate structure that utilizes the new system” implemented this winter, compared to last summer, which offered 72 hours free.
The additional oversized and overnight parking in West Vail will be continuing, however, the town is proposing a $10 increase in daily rates from the previous summer to $35 a night.
Like the prior year, free overnight employee passes would be available after verification.
The task force is also recommending extending summer parking passes for free to pass holders with a Winter 2022-23 premier, business premier or employee plus pass. It is also recommending offering the overnight parking pass for the Lionshead, Vail and Red Sandstone parking passes at $475 “with ownership in previous voucher-designated areas.”
As previously noted, the parking task force is also recommending increased messaging about parking and mobility options as part of the town’s stated goals to decrease single-occupancy vehicle use and reduce transit-related greenhouse gas emissions.
Ford Park, events parking
The parking and mobility task force also evaluated the Ford Park and events parking rates, passing its recommendations to the Ford Park User Group. This group provided its recommendations, which will also be presented to Town Council at its Tuesday meeting.
The main change proposed is an increased parking rate at Ford Park and the Soccer lot. The increased rate is meant to incentivize use at the free structures in town and free event buses as well as “relieve congestion at Ford lot and Soccer lot by encouraging bus ridership, as well as cover operating costs for Ford Park managed parking.”
The proposed event rate is $15, a $5 increase from 2022. It is also proposed that the town utilize its new parking system, which would disallow the use of cash for parking during events. Vail Town Council will review these proposals and give feedback at the Tuesday evening meeting. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. and will be available online (via Zoom or streamed on Facebook and on High Five Media) as well as in person at Vail Town Hall (75 S. Frontage Road). To register, provide public comment or learn more about the meeting, visit VailGov.com/Town-Council.