County accused of breaching contract for airport parking | AspenTimes.com

County accused of breaching contract for airport parking

Naomi Havlen
Aspen Times Staff Writer

A parking company is suing Pitkin County, alleging that a breach of contract at the Aspen Airport led to a loss of $80,000 in parking fees.

California-based Ampco System Parking Inc. began running parking operations at the Aspen Airport in May of 1999, according to the lawsuit filed Monday in Pitkin County. The corporation claims that the county broke an agreement to enforce parking regulations at the airport’s traffic circle.

The agreement between the county and the parking company stated that it was an “obligation” of the county to prevent free, unauthorized or illegal parking at the airport within its traffic circle.

During the airport’s agreement with Ampco, the county failed and refused “to police violators or erect barricades to prevent public parking in traffic circles,” the suit reads. Ampco also claims that “agents of the county were observed advising members of the public that is it permissible to park in the traffic circles.”

According to the lawsuit, Ampco lost over $80,000 in parking revenues as a result of the county’s actions. The suit also states that Ampco informed the county of the alleged breach of contract on four separate occasions in 2001, but received no reply from the county.

Ampco Parking Systems terminated its agreement with the county on Nov. 18, 2001, according to the lawsuit. The parking company had paid the county $120,000 per year to run the paid parking operations.

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Ampco System Parking representatives in Denver did not return calls for comment, and their attorneys could not be reached.