Vail’s winter parking rates and associated policies will be reviewed and finalized by the Town Council at its evening meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 3. The action item is listed as 6.1 on the meeting agenda which begins at 6 p.m. in the Vail Town Council Chambers with opportunities for public comment.
Tuesday’s discussion follows an earlier Town Council review of policies and pricing adjustments recommended by the Vail Parking & Transportation Task Force. The 12-member advisory group met in August to evaluate the town’s winter parking policies and identified several recommended pricing modifications to further support the town’s goal to limit the number of overflow parking days on the frontage road to 15. Strategies include pricing adjustments to encourage increased use of free outlying parking, carpooling and public transportation.
One of the proposed modifications is to shorten the free parking period from the current two-hours upon entry to 90 minutes. This initial free period has varied over the years. The current two-hour program was activated for the 2010-2011 season during the last economic downturn.
As an alternative, the Task Force recommends implementation of a new $5 fee to cover the period between 90-minutes and 2 hours and suggests creation of a voucher system for participating businesses. The recommended adjustment, according to Task Force members, would continue to allow for convenient access to the villages for lunch, shopping and errands, while making it harder for abuses by those who routinely move their vehicle to avoid paying for parking. Per town code, vehicles exiting the parking structures are prohibited from re-entering the garages for 30 minutes.
The Task Force supports continuation of the offer of free parking in the structures upon entry after 3 p.m. to encourage après ski vibrancy. This program was introduced in 1996 and has become popular with guests and locals.
Another recommendation from the Task Force is to adjust the hourly drive-up rate by reducing the cost for the first 2 to 3 hour period from the current $15 to a new rate of $10 to address customer complaints and create more equitable pricing. The recommended fee structure would then continue at $20 for 3 to 4 hours and a new rate of $30 for 4 to 15 hours. In addition, the Task Force is recommending a $40 fee for storing a vehicle overnight during a 15 to 24 hour period. This compares with the current fee structure of $15 for 2 to 3 hours; $20 for 3 to 4 hours; and $25 for 4 to 24 hours.
In its review of discounted parking passes, the Task Force is recommending pricing adjustments for the Pink Pass which sold for $150 last season. This pass is good for parking at Ford Park and the soccer field for employees of eligible Vail business license holders. Recommended pricing for the 2017-18 season is $300 to more closely match the cost of an ECO bus pass to create an economic and environmental incentive for use of public transportation. Bus service increases by Vail Transit and ECO Transit are also recommended to better accommodate the needs of commuting employees.
Other recommended season parking pass changes include $750 for a Green Pass, up from $500; $1,500 for a Blue Pass, up from $1,100; and $2,000 for a Silver Pass, up from $1,800. No changes are being recommended for the Gold Pass, which is priced at $3,250 for unlimited access to the structures. The last increase for winter parking fees occurred during the 2008-2009 season.
Chaired by Mayor Dave Chapin, the Vail Parking & Transportation Task Force was reinstituted earlier in the year to provide advisory input on winter and summer operations. A review of the just-completed summer season will be taking place in the fall with a recommendation presented to Town Council during the winter.
To review a staff memo summarizing the Task Force recommendations for the winter season, click here. To comment in advance of Tuesday’s discussion, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Paid parking in the Vail Village and Lionshead structures will coincide with the start of Vail Mountain’s 2017-2018 ski and snowboard season which is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 17. For a listing of rates from last season, visit vailgov.com/parking.
Contact: Greg Hall
Public Works Director