Tricia

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Last year when Squaw Valley announced the paid parking for those who didn't have at least three people in the car, Squaw got some push back and ended up changing the policy to holidays and busy weekends only for *paid* parking.

On October 1, 2019 Northstar announced that they would be charging for parking in all Village View lots but would have free parking with a shuttle bus from Castle Peak parking.

It looks like Vail Resorts is getting some legal pushback from pass holders who feel that the announcement of paid parking was a little late and they would have contemplated a different pass had they known the parking fees would be enforced.
SF Gate article
Tahoe Daily Tribune

This is what's happening in Tahoe but I wonder if it will impact some of the other resorts who are working on traffic issues, paid parking and carpooling.
 

Winks

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A paid parking lot is nothing new but paid parking no matter what seems over the top. I know the ski areas are always trying to find ways to increase profit and manage crowds but this does not seem like the way to do it.

Day tickets maybe but not season pass holders...
 

scott43

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I think they'll do it until it hurts numbers. It reminds me of when people criticize the Leafs for continuously increasing ticket prices..why wouldn't you? They sell every ticket they print..keep going until sales drop.
 

Guy in Shorts

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Love that my parking pass only costs $350 and I have a trailside spot weekends and holidays. Free trailside parking at the Vale lots just past the Rams Head lodge.
 

David Chaus

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I don’t object to having closer-up lots be paid or carpool lots. Sure, it is inconvenient to have to take a shuttle or make a long walk from a free lot, but having that choice is important.

If they make all the parking paid or carpool, that would suck. It would nudge me more towards finding regular ski carpool buddies. Or even picking up the occassional hitchhiker, if we’ve got 3 in the vehicle and need one more. Probably there would be more official or unofficial meet up places in town(s) somewhere on the way to the mountains.

However that shifts the parking burden to parking lots in town, which may be a problem for park and rides and local merchants’ parking availability.
 

mikel

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Thanks for posting this. It was an interesting article and I'm curious to see how this goes. I'm not a lawyer and I didn't sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night but the fact that NorthStar is still offering free parking makes me think this might be all for not. I do appreciate their effort though. Being that Copper is my home mountain I guess my brain is already conditioned that a skiing season pass and a parking season pass are two different passes. There are caveats to that. If you want to park up close at Copper either buy the season parking pass, pay the day rate, buy the premium pass, or become an owner.

Bad weather at a ski resort? Really? Who would of thought ogsmile
 

tch

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While I am personally really inconvenienced by the advent of paid parking (I usually ski -- and drive -- alone), I appreciate the effect it may have on pollution and our carbon imprint. Lots and lots of research suggests the most effective way to change Americans' habits is to hit them in the pocketbook. And negative consequences (cost) affects people more than positive ones (rewards).

As far as paid parking being implemented as a revenue stream....I'm not so excited by this development.
 

crgildart

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The evil thing to do would be to charge everyone (season pass holders too) then refund the parking for folks who cough up $100 for a day ticket. Ya that screws pass holders forcing them to spend cash each time they park a car there.. or sell parking passes for an additional couple hundred like shorts guy's place does.

The smallest place I go to has been charging for parking for the past 10 years... They charge ONE DOLLAR!
 

James

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Vail looks for anyway to squeeze a dollar out of real estate. Has nothing to do with carbon footprint, but if that makes you feel better, their job is well done.
 

SSSdave

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There needs to be a considerate balance and situations vary. I can understand a resort choosing to have expensive paid parking close to lifts for those wealthy enough who are then reducing other resort costs for the rest of us. There are older alpine resorts, primarily in Europe with village lodging and vehicle parking near lift bases for walk to in out access. In North America, few resorts have that lodging density and closeness to resort bases though most destination resorts have token expensive ski in out lodging for those wealthy enough. North American resorts that cater primarily to local regional skiers need to provide acceptable vehicle parking because the majority of visitors are driving their vehicles to resorts and many of them expect to use their vehicles as a logistical base as has always been the situation over decades. This is why Northstar has created controversy.

Accordingly, expensive paid parking is fine as long as there are also at least some free parking choices within walking distance for those that come early enough. Some of the most hard core long time enthusiasts that visit the most, have considerable gear that they expect to be able to change with depending on weather and snow conditions. And also those that prefer to eat out of their vehicle and or tail gate are not going to enjoy missing too much time on slopes due to excessive shuttle travel time from lift bases to their vehicles.

On stormy days that have a higher percentage of experienced enthusiasts, not being able to change clothing or skis within a reasonable period would be an unacceptable burden for those actually out skiing versus the many unprepared for elements that squat in lodges and cafeterias. And there ought be free parking for those that don't come early even if from a remote lot where one needs to take a shuttle bus. Unlike a one time payment for a season pass, paying for parking each time one visits a resort, will be a negative for those that ski the most.
 

Sibhusky

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It's still MOSTLY free here, but the walk is getting longer. They've converted a free lot to a carpool lot and they also assigned another double-sided row to the rich folks buying a Patron Pass ($2800 for two people--compared to the standard adult pass of $675 each).
 

EricG

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I’ll gladly pay for parking if it’s reasonable. I pay for private parking at our condo(s) so I know I always have a spot. When we go to SLC we try to carpool to be respectful of others trying to park.
 

wyowindrunner

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Haven"t been over the pass to ski JHMR in several years- last time I was there parking cost 8 bucks. Heard yesterday it's up to 15 bucks now. Wonder if Snow King is affected yet?
 

Unpiste

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While I am personally really inconvenienced by the advent of paid parking (I usually ski -- and drive -- alone), I appreciate the effect it may have on pollution and our carbon imprint. Lots and lots of research suggests the most effective way to change Americans' habits is to hit them in the pocketbook. And negative consequences (cost) affects people more than positive ones (rewards).

As far as paid parking being implemented as a revenue stream....I'm not so excited by this development.
Looking at this from the environmental aspect, carpool parking has me seriously thinking I should just buy a larger car next time around, so I can actually fit 3 people without spending 20 minutes packing and repacking skis and gear. If Squaw was serious about POW parking, they’d at least have dedicated electric spots as well as, ideally, hybrid and compact, because between the missing spare tires and/or range limitations, ICE is still pretty much the only viable option for making the 200 mile weekend trip into the mountains.

As implemented, this looks purely like a financial move to me.

From the financial aspect, I’ve been participating in Squaw’s Masters program this year (which isn’t exactly cheap), and it’s not particularly fun walking out to the free parking to swap skis mid-day. They do have dedicated parking for lessons, though, so this is more an oversight than anything else.

I also feel bad for the parking attendants. On more than one occasion, I’ve just driven away and parked where I felt like (in the free parking), because they were trying to have me park in just about the worst possible spot for walking. Once or twice, they even tried to get me to move, to which I pretty much just said “No”, having had enough with the situation. (I was in a perfectly valid spot, they just didn’t want to start the next row yet.)


What Northstar did this year is just egregious, and the excuses management came up with for the timing of the announcement equally ridiculous. (I called in to politely voice my displeasure, and ended up feeling bad for the person who picked up more than anything else. They’d obviously been getting a lot of complaints.) All they had to do was make the announcement 6 months earlier, or just exempt pass-holders from the parking fees for the Village View lot this season. Instead, this is almost certainly the last year I’ll buy a Tahoe Local pass.
 
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New2

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I think more and more paid parking will be the norm, and I'm mostly ok with it.

BUT the bait-and-switch of selling cheap passes then later announcing that what had been free parking is now paid parking is definitely shady, and I wish the plaintiffs luck in the Northstar suit. But I also think the Forest Service has really fallen down on their duty to the public in allowing ski areas carte blanche to impose whatever fees they want whenever they want. Northstar might not be on NFS land, but Solitude certainly is, and they imposed steep new parking fees this year after selling tons of cheap passes.

Bachelor will be all over that.
I think Bachelor's one of the few ski areas in Oregon that doesn't already charge for parking. At least the Mt. Hood and Eastern Oregon areas all require a Sno-Park permit.
 

coskigirl

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Eldora had an uproar about parking last season but rolled it back when it caused quite an uproar. Now I think they reserve the front half of the lot for carpoolers but there isn't paid parking.

 

tch

What do I know; I'm just some guy on the internet.
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Vail looks for anyway to squeeze a dollar out of real estate. Has nothing to do with carbon footprint, but if that makes you feel better, their job is well done.
Oh, I'm very aware that most of the pay parking policies have nothing to do with climate concerns and are mostly seen as income sources. BUT....if the policies are similar to Solitude's new one, which rewards carpooling, and people change their behavior b/c of this, then I'm all for it.
 
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