Controversial Paid Parking Helped Reduce Wait Times at Stowe Mountain Resort, VT, Over MLK Day Weekend

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Stowe mountain resort, vermont,
A skier makes turns alongside the gondola at Stowe Mountain Resort, which announced in April 2022 that it would be charging for parking next season. | Photo courtesy of Expedia

The controversial paid parking introduced at Stowe Mountain Resort, VT, this weekend was a great success, according to General Manager Bobby Murphy.

Over the MLK Day weekend, traditionally one of the busiest weekends for ski resorts, the new system helped reduce wait times to get on the trails, MyNBC5 reports.

“We’ve had a great weekend. We were fortunate to get snow last weekend and good cold weather with snowmaking. This weekend, we had no backups on the mountain road coming to and from the resort and we had ample parking still available.”

– General Manager Bobby Murphy

More people are carpooling or taking public transportation to the mountain to avoid the parking charges, significantly reducing the cars and traffic entering the resort. Whether you carpooled, took the bus, or paid for parking, the wait time to the trails was less. In previous years the resort would be “parked out”.

While the west has been buried under record snowfall, Vermont has had a slow start to the season. Murphy is optimistic though, saying, “I think the weather is gonna make the change, and we’re gonna get a lot of snow for the second half of the season.”

The controversial $450 parking pass introduced by Vail Resorts-owned Stowe Mountain Resort, VT, sold out as soon as it went on sale in October 2022. It’s not known how many of the passes were made available.

Stowe mountain resort, vermont, vail resorts, paid parking, sold out
Park Stowe website yesterday, immediately after the pass went on sale.

The Park Stowe 22/23 season parking pass was made available on October 11th, 2022, at 6 pm and sold out instantly. The pass cost $450 for the season but does not guarantee a parking spot—parking is first come, first served. The pass does include the following:

  • Unlimited access to all paid lots
  • Unlimited access to FREE public parking lots​
  • Parking is available on a first-come, first-served basis
  • Not valid in ‘Permit Only’ areas
  • Does not include overnight parking from 2 am to 6 am.
  • Up to two (2) vehicles are allowed on the permit at a time but cannot be used simultaneously, or both vehicles will receive a violation.
Stowe parking
More info was posted by Stowe on social media.

Stowe now charges for parking on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and holidays at all lots minus the Toll House and XC Center, according to the letter shared in April by Bobby Murphy, Stowe’s general manager. This means that on weekends next season, 80% of parking spaces at Stowe will require payment unless you:

  1. Ride with four or more people, which lowers your cost of parking to 0$ as an incentive to promote carpooling
  2. Show up after 2 pm
  3. Park at the Cross Country Center or Toll House (these lots make up approximately 20% of Stowe’s parking)
  4. Are there Monday-Thursday
Stowe parking map 2022/23.

Paying for parking can be done via a smartphone app or on-site kiosks “to help ensure faster, more efficient parking, especially at our busiest times.”

The full letter from Stowe’s GM is attached below.

I’m Bobby Murphy, general manager here at Stowe Mountain Resort, and I’d like to share an update on a topic that’s been on a lot of people’s minds this season.

We are proud to be a popular destination for skiing and riding, but we recognize that traffic is a key challenge. I’ve been asked what we can do to improve the flow of guests into and out of the resort. What can we do to help reduce traffic congestion, increase carpooling, and increase the use of public transit to the resort? How can our operations help change behavior? In response to this, Stowe Mountain Resort will implement a new parking plan for the 2022-23 winter season which includes free and paid parking, new payment strategies and special incentives for those who choose to carpool.

Parking will remain free at all lots Monday through Thursday during non-holiday periods, and at all lots after 2pm. Paid parking will be implemented Friday through Sunday and holidays at all lots, except at the Cross Country Center and Toll House area lots which will remain free seven days a week. Free parking will also be offered at all times in all lots to cars arriving with four or more guests, which we hope encourages carpooling. Additionally, payment can be made via a smartphone app or on-site kiosks to help ensure faster, more efficient parking, especially at our busiest times.

By encouraging more people to use public transport, carpool or visit during non-peak times, we hope to move congestion off of the two-lane road leading to the resort and from our main lots.

In addition, we are ramping up our partnership with Green Mountain Transit, with proceeds from our paid parking going toward additional buses and capacity as well as toward our own resort shuttle system to improve public transportation in and around the resort.

We thank you for your understanding as we strive to create smoother arrivals and departures at our resort. We’ll be releasing additional details about the plan soon.

Thank you,

Bobby.


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