Vail Mountain, CO is evaluating options to improve the parking experience, including dynamic pricing

Credit: Vail Daily

The parking situation at Mount VailCO, is far from ideal. On peak days, when lots fill up, cars are forced to park on Frontage Road. Last year there were 53 days when this happened.

A municipal committee is considering options to reduce the number of overflow days to no more than 15. To do this, they estimate they will need to reduce the number of cars by 300 to 400 on peak days.

Dynamic pricing

Dynamic pricing is an economic concept that has been around for some time and is often applied to other industries. Supply and demand are the underlying principles, where the more demand, the higher the price. Parking is what’s missing. On peak days when demand is high, the price of parking will increase.

The hope is that this will shift consumer behavior towards carpooling or intending to go skiing another off-peak day.

Vail has identified approximately 50 days that will be peak days. Peak days will primarily be weekends, but will also include three-day weekends and the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day.

It is not yet known if a powder day would be considered a peak day. 1 credit

Other ideas on the table are changing the free parking period from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., as well as only allowing 30 minutes of free parking (instead of two hours) at Vail parking structures. Village and Lionshead.

There are still many details to iron out, but they hope to have the plan in place by September 20, when the city council will hopefully vote on the proposals. Then, starting October 1, a marketing and communication campaign would be launched. Hopefully the changes will improve the experience for everyone.

Vail parking map. Credit:


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