Eldora Colorado: Too Green Too Soon?

Brian Carpentier | | Industry NewsIndustry News
Eldora Colorado: Taking the environmental initiative. Photo Credit: Eldora

Eldora Mountain outside of Boulder, Colorado publicized a number of new and continuing environmental initiatives earlier in December, only to face criticism about part of their plan. Included in the press release: A priority parking scheme for carpooling with 3 or more people per vehicle; Free bus passes on some weekends from Boulder; Environmentally friendly trail-maps; and a commitment to 100% renewable energy sources by 2025.

Boulder’s RTD bus runs to Eldora. Photo credit: Eldora

They ran into trouble with part of the plan after initially touting a $20 dollar parking fee on weekends and holiday periods as a way to reduce traffic and encourage carpooling (3 or more per car would park for free). A few days later, Eldora was forced to retract that part of the plan and assure mountain users that parking would remain free after public outcry over the fee. In part, the negative press stemmed from the short notice that the mountain gave to skiers and boarders. The original announcement came in early December after the season had already begun. This left local Icon Pass holders upset that they would be paying potentially hundreds of dollars more per season to park and ski.

What if your car only seats 2 like this classic hot-dogger subi? Photo credit: Eldora

Understandably, the imposition of a sudden and hefty parking fee left many people thinking the resort just wanted to make a few extra dollars and get 3 paying customers instead of just one or two local skiers up to the hill. In Eldora’s retraction statement, it says: “The resort is putting out a call to action for guests to take personal steps to keep Eldora accessible to as many people as possible, and address congestion and emissions by carpooling or taking RTD to the mountain. Boulder guests are also encouraged use the 2,000-plus free weekend parking spots in City of Boulder lots and garages to facilitate carpooling.” The push to reduce traffic and encourage carpooling at Eldora is not new. Last season, the resort encouraged carpooling and the use of Boulder’s RTD bus route by holding a Head ski giveaway last January.

Woodward Tahoe at Boreal has invested in the largest solar project of its kind in California. Photo credit: Boreal

Powdr Corp., the parent company that operates Eldora, has a good track record of environmentally-friendly initiatives. In 2013, Powdr Corp received a Green Power Leadership Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Mountains in Powdr’s portfolio have been recipients of the National Ski Area Association’s Golden Eagle Award for Environmental Initiative. Boreal, a Powdr affiliate in Tahoe, was 1 of 3 yearly named to the NSAA list for the 2017 installation of the largest solar energy system of any resort in California. Eldora’s General Manager Brent Tragaskis states that for the future: “We are working closely with the County to increase our parking capacity, reduce traffic, and lower emissions, but we aren’t there yet. Given that we are rescinding our paid-parking proposal at this time, we need our guests to speak as loudly with their actions as they have with their words.”

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10 thoughts on “Eldora Colorado: Too Green Too Soon?

  1. Does anonymous not know how to spell ? Die i ? What is that ?
    Anonymous needs to learn how to spell and compose sentences .

  2. This is not a green I initiative.
    Plan Boulder is an anti automobile organisation that would rather watch you die i. Your car than improve the roads. Don’t believe the hype.

  3. Here’s the problem with 3-person carpool parking: There are otherwise great ski cars that simply don’t fit 3 people, equipment, and luggage for a weekend without a box. And boxes need to go somewhere when they’re not on the car; if you also live in a small, efficient apartment, there’s no room.

    Effectively, every time a ski area does this, they’re sending the message that if you go skiing regularly, you better go out and buy a big, inefficient SUV or truck that can actually reasonably fit 3 people, equipment, and luggage. Of course, none of that matters if the primary goal is really just to fit more people in the resort parking by getting them to carpool. (Unless they feel like implementing a more tightly packed compact car area, just to make things even more complicated.)

    1. Squaw’s parking rules mimic the HOV carpool lanes. If you only have a 2 person car, they count that as full occupancy and you can park for free. Same for a motorcycle for those freaks that feel safe driving a moto in the winter.

      1. That would work if they treated small 4-person cars as 2-person when you need to pull down the rear seats to have enough room for anything much other than just the 4 people.

    1. I was initially pretty bent out of shape by what Squaw is doing (depending on how it plays out, I might still be). To be fair, it’s a bit different as they still allow free parking for non-carpoolers, just in a drastically reduced area than what it used to be (not sure if Eldora’s plan eliminated all free parking, but sounds like it). Also to Squaw’s credit, so far the paid/carpool lot has only been in effect until mid-morning, even on weekends, so it’s been pretty easy to get a spot up close if you aren’t an early bird. That being said, we still haven’t had a busy day yet this season. Still curious to see what happens when the junkshow comes to town.
      And while Eldora’s plan was not perfect, at least they offered alternative ways to get to the hill. Squaw’s transportation “improvement” is a minivan to shuttle the few dozen people already in the valley. If there was a free bus from the North shore and Truckee every 15 minutes, I would be on it, and I suspect plenty of others would use it, also. But it is pretty evident that what Squaw is doing is an attempt to look “green” in an effort to persuade the powers that be to approve their “village” project and the traffic congestion that will result.

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