Official: Lack of disabled parking at Aspen X Games OK

Parking spots for the disabled are not available at Buttermilk ski mountain during Winter X Games this weekend.

However, because no one from the general public is allowed to park at the ski mountain this weekend and everyone is being directed to a nearby parking lot, the rule doesn’t violate the Americans with Disabilities Act, said Rachael Stafford, director of the Rocky Mountain ADA Center in Colorado Springs.

The nearby parking lot — in this case the Brush Creek Intercept Lot — must have designated parking spaces for the disabled, and the shuttle from the lot to the ski mountain also must be disabled-accessible in order to comply with ADA, Stafford said.

“If it’s equal access, it’s OK,” Stafford said.

The Intercept Lot has parking spots for disabled drivers, said Brian Pettet, Pitkin County public works director. All Roaring Fork Transportation Authority buses are accessible to the disabled as well, said Dan Blankenship, RFTA director.

However, the Aspen Skiing Co. and ESPN contract with a separate company to provide shuttles from the Intercept Lot to Buttermilk during X Games, Blankenship said. He did not know if those shuttles were accessible to the disabled.

Jeff Hanle, Skico spokesman, didn’t know the answer either, though he said the contract shuttles are from Rocky Mountain National Park and he would be surprised if they were not disabled-accessible. Danny Chi, a Winter X Games representative, said that all the contract shuttles are ADA compliant.

ESPN takes over more or less the entire Buttermilk base area for Winter X Games, including the Pitkin County-owned parking lot and the lots owned by Skico, said Alex Burchetta, spokesman for the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office.