$500K Vail parking spot raises brows | AspenTimes.com

$500K Vail parking spot raises brows

Melanie Wong
Vail correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colo. ” Buzz Schleper is sticking to the posted price for his slope-side parking spot in Vail, Colorado ” $500,000.

“For the best parking spot in Vail, it’s reasonable,” Schleper said of the spot just steps from the Vista Bahn lift. “It’s right next to the exit, and it’s the best spot in the structure.”

Schleper, owner of Buzz’s Ski Shop and Buzz’s Boards in Vail Village, said he is selling the spot in order to fund the ski racing careers of his children, Sarah and Hunter. Sarah Schleper is a World Cup racer and Olympian, but lost much of her funding for this season due to injury and after having a baby. Hunter, 17, races for Vail.

But what started as an ad in the Vail Daily has turned into a story that has spread across blogs, newspapers and Web sites across the country and the world. News of Schleper’s spot made it to USAtoday.com, Front Range papers, ski magazines and ski and travel sites. The Spanish version of the story even made it as far as nevasport.com, the website of a ski magazine based in Malaga, Spain.

Web readers had plenty to say about Schleper’s price, with comments ranging from amused to outraged.

“A freaking parking spot at a ski slope… UNREAL,” wrote one Web commenter on the Rocky Mountain News site.

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“Here in the real world, people are losing their jobs, homes and life savings, but the ski town of Vail continues to exist in another layer of the stratosphere,” wrote someone on the Colorado Spring Gazette site. “For that price tag, it should include someone to warm up your car for you, carry your skis and pull you on a rickshaw.”

While Schleper said he hasn’t gotten any offers yet on the space, he said he thinks the market supports the price, and that downvalley homeowners struggling to park in Vail will be interested.

Several other less “prime” spots in the garage are going for rates upwards of $350,000. In Vail economics, his price isn’t too off, Schleper said, pointing out a fixer-upper townhouse across the street from the garage going for $6.2 million.

“With the price of the stuff across the street, I think my parking space is underpriced,” he joked.

The newly opened slope-side Vail Mountain Club offers members ski valet service, locker rooms and underground parking for $285,000 a year.

“And you don’t even own the spot,” Schleper said.

Some local skiers and residents gasped upon hearing the going rate for prime Vail parking, but were quick to point out that parking isn’t the only expensive commodity in the valley.

“That’s outrageous!” said Denver skier Bill Williams. “But then again, $25 to park in Vail’s garage and $30 for Beaver Creek is outrageous, too. And lift tickets for $97.”

Skier Deb Wechter’s eyebrows shot up at the parking spot price, calling it “ridiculous.”

Then she shrugged.

“It’s Vail,” she said.

mwong@vaildaily.com

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