Short armistice in Vail parking wars
January 9, 2009 —
There used to be secrets to finding parking in Vail. Small nooks, unknown crannies just large enough for your buddy’s Yugo to slide into unnoticed.
I’d love to say I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve, but the fact is the secrets have all been well flushed out, and there’s no magic to parking in Vail anymore.
Unless, of course, you count the magic of watching town officials and business leaders grow apoplectic about parking issues in Vail. Forget naked men dangling from chairlifts or daring backcountry rescues on Mount of the Holy Cross, to most Vail locals the biggest news story of 2008 was the battle over parking – who could park where, for how long, and how much.
In a stroke of relative genius, from a Town that has bandied about some truly absurd ideas for solving parking issues in Vail (like banning pickup trucks from the structure and ceasing parking on the Frontage Road), Donovan Pavilion has been opened to public parking when it’s not in use.
Amazing – a parking lot where people will be allowed to park when it’s not being used. This sounds too sensible to be true, but that’s not all: it’s FREE.
Here’s the scoop from the TOV release:
Access to the 70-plus space upper lot, located at 1600 South Frontage Rd., will be open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. The Donovan lot will be available for skier parking every day through January 14th. After Jan. 14, a sign will be posted at the entrance to the park indicating availability, which will vary from day to day, depending on the scheduled use of the pavilion. Donovan Pavilion is typically only booked 30 days during the winter season. No placards or hang tags are needed to gain access to the lot.
The parking area will be serviced by the Matterhorn bus stop, which is located west of the park at the intersection of Matterhorn Circle and West Gore Creek Drive. The West Vail Red transit line services this bus stop to the LionsHead base area with service on the hour and half hour.
The Donovan lot allows for double the amount of free parking available to skiers during weekdays. Friday through Sunday, an additional 180 spaces are available along the North Frontage Road in West Vail.
The decision to add Donovan Park to the inventory of free parking was made after determining other free parking areas have been filling on a regular basis.
Skiers and riders should be reminded that free parking on the South Frontage Road, across from the Vail and LionsHead parking structures, is allowed only after the Vail Village and LionsHead parking structures have been filled. The two garages have met their capacity six times this season, down from nine overflow days year-to-date last season.
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