Vail town parking’s a bad deal at $25 |

Vail town parking’s a bad deal at $25

Steve Lamontagne
Vail, CO, Colorado

Having come to the Vail Valley for more than 30 years and been blessed to own a home here for nearly 15 years, I am never totally surprised at some of the boneheaded moves by local government officials.

Having not been here much for several months because, as we all know, economic times are difficult, I was totally amazed that on my first powder ski day at Vail, when I pulled into the dedicated value card parking area that at 8:30 a.m., there were only two cars.

Being somewhat jacked up because it was a powder day and I had to meet Louie, I hurried to put money on my card and purchase a ticket.

The process all went smoothly until the price of $25 came up. The one other car’s occupant was now behind me and said, “Yep, they had all summer to fix this thing and it still does not always work right.”

So I decided to approve my charge and deal with it later. After all, it’s a powder day.

Participate in The Longevity Project

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After an epic day with my bu-dy Louie, I dragged myself off the mountain at 3:30. Louie had informed me that there have been changes this past summer and that the value card was no longer given to those of us who did not live in Vail.

So I decided to go to the Vail municipal building to get my charge straightened out. The very pleasant lady told me it was true that the Vail Town Council had decided to make a very unpopular decision and exclude only a very select group to use the value card. She confiscated my value card and gave me what money I had purchased just six hours ago on a little white card and said I could use it in the future to purchase parking at the wonderful new rate.

I have a question to the Vail Town Council: How’s your revenue working out for you this year? Is it a little under projection? Wouldn’t you think in these economic times that a full parking structure every day at $15 would be much better than a full structure only on the weekends at $25?

When I pay $90 to ski here, I get new lifts and 1500-plus acres of grooming every night.

What have you done for me lately, town of Vail? If I were you, I would not hurry down to your stocking on Christmas morning. You’ve been very bad, and a big chunk of coal will be waiting.

I’ve decided to make an early New Year’s resolution. Once my paper is used up at the parking structure (only one more time), I promise never to park there again this season. I usually ski 20 to 25 days a year, so you got $50 from me this year instead of a possible $300-plus.

As I talk with my friends from the valley and Denver, I understand that I am not alone. Don’t blame your missed revenue projections on bad economic times. Face the fact that you made a bad decision.

No one with any common sense could have run the financial numbers on your parking structure decision. Maybe the town can increase its revenue by giving those who made this decision a pink slip?

But you still have a chance to make things right. The season is early ” you can still repent and change your ways!

If you do, maybe your revenue will look better in the future, because after all, we all like to break our New Year’s resolutions.

Steve Lamontagne

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