The Breckenridge Town Council and Vail Resorts reached an agreement Tuesday, Aug. 25, to revise the town’s lift-ticket ballot question for funding a comprehensive parking and transit plan.
The town will exclude season passes, multi-resort lift tickets and summer activities from its proposed 4.5 percent admissions tax, and Vail Resorts will guarantee that the tax, if passed, will raise at least $3.5 million per year, adjusted for inflation by 1 to 4 percent annually.
“In the spirit of compromise, the council felt this amount would be adequate to begin to work on the much needed improvements for this vital issue for our community,” said Mayor John Warner, in a statement. “The community has been telling us that parking and transit are an extremely important issue for the future of Breckenridge. Although we may not always agree, a positive relationship with the ski area is important, and the council felt this compromise still meets the community’s needs.”
The seven council members explained why they each supported the tax and urged people to vote yes on the ballot question in the Nov. 3 election. Without voter approval, the tax and the agreement won’t happen.
About 100 people packed the council chamber, including at least five Vail Resorts representatives.
“Parking and transit are real issues for the Breckenridge community and we are pleased to have an agreement that provides the Town the funding required to address these needs,” said John Buhler, Breckenridge Ski Resort COO, in a statement. “We have concerns regarding any tax increase, but reaching these terms protects the greatest number of Breckenridge guests. We commend the town council for their engagement on this topic and their willingness to address some of our concerns.”
The proposed tax would begin July 1, 2016, to provide time for implementing the systems to collect the tax from winter lift-ticket purchasers. Vail Resorts agreed that it will not oppose the tax headed to voters.
Community members repeatedly applauded and thanked the town and Vail Resorts for cooperating on a solution.