What’s the market for Vail parking spaces?

Scott N. Miller
Vail, CO, Colorado

When is $225,000 for a parking space a bargain? When that space is inside the new garage at Manor Vail.

An offshoot of the renovation of Manor Vail was the creation of a new underground parking garage. A total of 119 spaces have been taken by the Manor Vail Homeowners Association. But East West Partners, which ran the renovation, also built another 23 parking spaces on the bottom level of the garage. Those spaces, which sit behind a secure garage door, are for sale at $225,000. Each.

The spaces were first offered to condo owners at Manor Vail who might want a little extra parking for themselves. That exclusive-sale period has closed. Until Jan. 26, the spaces are now available only to people who own property in the neighborhood around Manor Vail.

From Jan 26. through Feb. 8, the spaces will be sold exclusively to people who own property in Vail. After that, they’re open to anyone.

“We’ve had a lot of interest from the town, and people are just starting to get their mailings about it,” said Miller Harper of East West Partners.

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People who own units in Vail, or who have the money available to buy a space, have historically snapped up private parking fairly quickly. And those spaces have appreciated at a level that’s the envy of even those who own ski-in, ski-out property.

The first spaces at Founders Park, near the Christiania Lodge, sold for $100,000 each just a few years ago. The most recent sale was for more than $370,000, and Buzz Schleper, owner of Buzz’s Boards, is asking $500,000 for his space. Two other spaces for sale ” one at Founders Park, the other at Golden Peak ” have asking prices in the $370,000 range.

Longtime Vail resident Rod Slifer, who lives with his family in Vail Village, owns a space in Founders Park and three other spaces nearby, and he doesn’t intend to get rid of any of them.

Like most Vail Village property, parking spots are rare and, therefore, valuable. Slifer said people who buy spaces would probably add value to their homes or condos if they packaged parking with their units.

“I don’t have any plans to move, but if I did, I’d probably sell the parking with my place,” Slifer said. “Or I might keep a couple.”

Given the cost and scarcity of Vail Village parking, the convenience of a guaranteed place to park has value in itself.

Diane Milligan, manager of the Rams-Horn condos in Vail Village, lives in Edwards but has always had a place to park at work.

“I can’t imagine not having it,” she said.

Based on that, Milligan said she can see the attraction of having, say, a home in Cordillera and a parking spot in the village.

But that part of Vail struggles with traffic, especially during ski season, and some property owners worry that downvalley residents who own Vail Village parking spots will make that traffic worse.

“I think it’s good to offer the spaces to neighbors first,” Milligan said. “It just makes good sense.”

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