Vail Mountain, CO, Weighs Options to Improve Parking Experience, Including Dynamic Pricing

Brent Thomas | | Industry NewsIndustry News
on the side of the road
Credit: Vail Daily

The parking situation at Vail Mountain, CO, is less than ideal. On peak days when the lots fill up, cars are forced to park on Frontage Road. Last year there were 53 days this happened.

A town committee is considering options on how to reduce the number of spillover 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 underlining principles, where the more demand there is, the higher the price. Parking is what is in short supply. On peak days when demand is high, the price of parking will increase.

The hope is this will shift consumer behavior to either carpool or plan to go skiing on another non-peak day.

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

There is no word yet if a powder day would be considered a peak day. Credit: RadSeason

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

There are still many details to work out, but they hope to have the plan set by September 20, when the town council will hopefully vote on the proposals. Then, beginning October 1, a marketing and communications campaign would be launched. Hopefully, the changes will improve the experience for everyone.

Vail parking map. Credit:

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