Vail will continue charging for overnight summer parking | VailDaily.com

Vail will continue charging for overnight summer parking

Vail will continue to offer free daytime parking in its structures during the summer.
Justin Q. McCarty | Daily file photo |

VAIL — The idea behind charging for overnight summer parking in Vail’s parking structures was to cut down on the number of vehicles essentially stored there. The idea seems to have borne fruit.

The Vail Town Council agreed Tuesday to continue the summer parking program it imposed in 2018. That program maintains free daytime parking in the structures, but imposes a $25 fee for cars parked overnight.

During an information session at the council’s evening meeting, town public works director Greg Hall said the number of cars parked overnight in both the Vail Village and Lionshead parking structures had been essentially halved.

Fewer people storing vehicles in the structures means more spaces are available in the day during the summer. That seems to have worked as hoped, too.

The summer of 2018 saw 17 days of overflow parking in town — when motorists have to park on the town’s South Frontage Road — down from 21 days in the summer of 2017.

Council members agreed to maintain the $25 per night charge — with free vouchers provided to hotels and condo buildings without much parking and a grace period for those who left cars in the structure in lieu of driving while intoxicated.

Council members also agreed on how best to use the town’s new parking structure at Red Sandstone Elementary School. During the school year, that structure adds 120 spaces per day for permit parking. That number rises to 160 when school isn’t in session.

That structure opened in mid-December, and the structure isn’t yet being well used. On the other hand, the school is still being rebuilt, so the entire area looks like a construction site.

The Red Sandstone structure is set up only to accept passes, and council members wondered how to try to avoid summer car storage there this year.

After some debate, council members agreed to monitor long-term use at the new structure. Signs will be posted, and those leaving vehicles for more than 72 hours will be ticketed.

Vail Daily Business Editor Scott Miller can be reached at smiller@vaildaily.com or 970-748-2930.