Thursday, October 12, 2006

Pay Parking in Breckenridge

Vail Resorts Wednesday announced a passel of new parking options for visitors at Breckenridge and Keystone, including a $99 locals season parking pass.

The changes are aimed to ease the pain of the transition to paid parking at the Miners and Tailings lots, closest to the new BreckConnect Gondola.

As expected, the resort will begin charging $10 per day for parking at those two lots as soon as the Gondola opens, foreseeably early this season. While the new gondola terminal and other base-area buildings will eat up about 150 spots, the resort will replace them with free spots in the Gold Rush parking lot, according to resort spokesperson Nicky DeFord.

DeFord said the array of season parking passes marks the biggest change from last season. The parking plan features daily, weekday and transferable passes, as well as several free lots withing walking distance of the gondola.

Breckenridge town officials said they will watch closely to see if the change from free to pay parking at the lots near the gondola has any effect on nearby retail and residential areas, said town manager Tim Gagen.

“For us it’s wait and see,” Gagen said, explaining that there have been some concerns that paid parking at the resort might lead visitors to park on town streets.

Gagen said. “If we see skiers parking where employees used to park, or if they’re not respecting the parking time-limits, we’ll be ready to respond on short notice,” Gagen said. One option is to implement a permit parking system in town, he explained.

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