Solitude Ski Resort, UT Will Charge $20 For Parking In 2019/20

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Vehicle concentration at Solitude Mountain Resort and surrounding canyons is said to have reached “crisis level” | Steve Griffin, Tribune archive photo

Solitude Mountain Resort, often ranked among Utah’s Top-10 ski areas, intends to charge a $20 dollar parking fee to visitors beginning 2019/20 winter. Also in the works are carpool incentives, resort expansions, and collaborations with state government–all with end goal of seeing fewer vehicles in the canyons.

Plan outlines private vehicles transporting up to two persons will be charged the full $20 dollar while three or four+ passengers vehicles will be charged $10 or $5 dollars respectively.

Parking fees will be assessed and paid at kiosk locations, a system already in use at other ski areas, such as Colorado’s Copper Mountain. Drivers are first supplied a coded card by Solitude staff when they enter parking areas. (Codes apply to vehicle occupancy.) Driver later enters the vehicle’s license plate and code into the kiosk and pays a scaled fee.

The method behind such a feather-ruffling experiment: skier persuasion—via price tag — to think reduction when it comes to vehicle congestion and emissions-based air pollution. 

Current state of Utah transit has got lawmakers, ski areas re-thinking 2019/’20 winter | Courtesy photo

The bold move targets, specifically, alleviation of bumper-to-bumper blues around the state’s increasingly crowded ski centers. Officials and enviro-activists applaud the Solitude Mountain Resort plan as well as hope the three other Cottonwood resorts follow suit.

Apart from parking fee changes, the resort also aims to designate space for an additional 200 parking spots, bringing its total to 1,400, but crowding in Mill Creek, Little and Big Cottonwood regions has already elevated to a breaking point. And gridlock is a year-round problem.

Local community council president, Barbara Cameron shared that 41,000 cars traveled up Big Cottonwood Canyon over Labor Day weekend alone.

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Solitude Mountain Resort, Utah | Courtesy photo

Coincidence, it seems, has added extra spice to stewing concerns as transit crisis happened to bloom alongside the Ikon pass. Mega-pass bargains attracted swarms of out-of-state skiers to the Cottonwoods at a time when Utah was waist deep in powder snow. As a result, daily canyon commute times slowed to a crawl, and many downhill pilgrims began to seriously wonder if there wasn’t another way to the snow Holy Land.

State officials appear to be on the same page, looking into other options the likes of road tolls or construction. State legislature has authorized a tolling move, though Utah Transportation intends to focus first on developing plans for widening roads or even building lift connections between the Cottonwood resorts and their Park City counterparts.

Naturally such talk has incited opposition from activists.

In effort to smooth upcoming change, Solitude Mountain Resort has also extended the following:

  • Covering the $9 dollar round-trip fares on Utah Transit Authority canyon buses for Solitude or multi-resort Ikon season pass holders  
  • Leasing vans to ride-share resort workforce
  • 50 front-row parking spots will be reserved for cars with four or more occupants
  • Locker space at the Moonbeam Lodge is to be expanded
  • Development of a ride-sharing app, available this season and users will have access to a rewards system

Cherry on top: Solitude Mountain Resort is pledging a percentage of parking revenue to local air quality non-profit, Breathe Utah, a Salt Lake City.

Remaining question comes from canyon-ers themselves, will skiing public will punish or reward Solitude?

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All eyes on Solitude Mountain Resort 2019/’20 Winter | Courtesy photo

“What Solitude is doing is really important, They have stepped out in a risky way. I am interested to see how this experiment plays out.” Carl Fisher, executive director of Save Our Canyons.


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6 thoughts on “Solitude Ski Resort, UT Will Charge $20 For Parking In 2019/20

  1. They sign on to the Ikon pass, experience record or near record skier visits every weekend we are supposed to applaud their “solution” of charging for parking now? They are wallowing in cash and are trying to spin this as some bold environmental initiative. Solitude is flat.

    1. I’d expect something like this from Snowbird, but really Solitude? There have to be better options of working with the city and the canyons to incentivise carpooling rather than penalizing skiers. As a college student who can hardly afford a pass to begin with, it’s a bummer that I’ll have to continue paying out of pocket to enjoy the mountain I love. Looks like I’ll be riding backcountry and carpooling more often now.

      1. You must be new here, Snowbird has wayyyyyyyyy more parking and the bus takes 15 mins from the base of LCC. I’d expect this out of Solitude way before Snowbird or even Alta.

  2. It.s like water flowing downhill! You overpromote , you kill the experience. Overtourism is a name for it.. Greed is another name. Venice is ruined, 50k residents, 50 million visitors.. huh? LCC suxs.. hour long waits.. are u kidding me Utah? It.s funny our mtns in the East are built with crowd capacity in mind. But everone said.. oh oh the ice.. lets move to SLc or DEN. ..now it takes hours to get to Summit Cty to ski, no make that wait in line and ski a few runs at Vail! Not for me!
    I am happy i am not “living their dream” as my Ski Bum friends told me these last 30 years.. i for one have the option in my old age of finding “little ski areas that rock” and u can have the traffic jams for those that are “living the dream”.

  3. Is this a car reduction plan or revenue generating plan. 2000 cars per day at $20 per car for say 150 days is $6 million in extra revenue. Maybe this is a test by Altera to see if it will fly and then adopt it at all of their resorts. Airlines offer cheap tickets and then charge for everything. Parking at sporting events usually has a charge. So not surprising. The biggest issue is a change in the skiing experience as I take 2 pairs of skis, extra goggles, different gloves, puffies etc. in my car to adapt to the conditions and weather. Cannot do that on the bus.

  4. I think this is total BS. First, this should have been publicized before IKON Passes went for sale for the coming season. Second, the busses are extremely limited as with bus parking. The bus doesn’t go up and down the canyon consistently which means it is impossible to get a bus in the middle of the day for locals to ski a few hours or for parents that have time restrictions with kids in school. If you have ever tried to catch the bus on a powder day you know all to well that it can be nearly impossible and the busses are overpacked if you can even get on one (safety concerns). Locals who haven’t bought an IKON yet won’t and will go to Brighten or other resorts that don’t charge extra on top of expensive season passes. This was my first year to buy an IKON pass and I am so pissed about the parking. I work at another resort and thought it would be fun to ski around but without a parking pass it isn’t worth it so now I am FORCED to by one. The state is responsible to fix this issue, not the resort. Utah takes in a ton of cash from tourism and they need to address the congestion issues in the canyon. The roads have been terrible for many years now which is expected with the insane growth in the Salt Lake Valley (so it isn’t solely because of the IKON peep). I wouldn’t have a problem if the buses were actually usable. There are going to be a lot of pissed off tourist when they come with their IKON passes and realize the canyon bus system is not user friendly and that they have to fork out extra $ to park when they already had to pay for a pass, rentals….I am all for the environment but let’s do something that actually works.

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