Winter parking permit prices to increase for upcoming ski season in Snowmass

First price hike for residents since 2014 will charge more for use of numbered lots

For the first time since 2014, most parking permits for the numbered lots and Divide Lot in Snowmass Village will increase in cost for the 2021-22 ski season. (Kelsey Brunner/Snowmass Sun)

For the first time since 2014, most parking permits for the numbered lots and Divide Lot in Snowmass Village will cost more during the 2021-22 ski season than they did the winter before.

How much more depends on the permit: most people who live or work within the Snowmass Village zip code will pay $10 or $15 more than they have for the past seven winters for their residential and employee permits. Prices for those permits range from $50 to $200 depending on the level of access and how many vehicles the applicant wants to park.

Roaring Fork Valley residents and guests who want unlimited parking will have to pay $50 more for a Gold Pass (now $550) and valley seniors will pay $25 more for their discounted passes (now $250). Combined availability for those two passes will be capped at 200 permits, parking program manager Sam Guarino and transportation director David Peckler confirmed during a Town Council meeting Aug. 16.

Merchant parking, which includes access for as many as five vehicles, also will cost $50 more; this year, it totals $700.

Town Council approved the price hikes along with the overall 2021-22 ski season parking plan during the regular meeting.

According to an agenda summary for the topic, prices for most passes could increase again by about the same amounts for the 2022-23 ski season. The Gold Pass is the exception to that rule, with a $100 increase from the 2021-22 to the 2022-23 seasons after a $50 increase this year.

Permits for lodging guests parking in the numbered lots will remain $10 per day for the 2021-22 season but would increase to $12 per day for the 2022-23 season; those prices last increased in 2017.

Town parking officials recommended the increases because permit prices have lagged behind the costs of maintaining the parking program; as approved, the price increases in the 2021-22 winter parking plan will boost parking revenue by about $20,000.

Parking officials also said it will assist in goals to keep parking usage at or below 85% capacity (the national standard for a full lot), promote alternative modes of travel and reduce vehicle miles traveled, which could help cut down on carbon emissions.

“We think for a number of reasons it’s time to do a small increase, not the least of which is to try to control the parking in the numbered lots a little bit in the winter and influence people to take public transportation, which we provide throughout the town, of course, as well as come a little closer to making it a system that pays for itself,” Guarino said.

This year’s price increases alone won’t make the system self-sustaining, but it does help move closer to that goal, Guarino said.

The proposed increases in the 2022-23 season — which include that $2 hike in guest permit rates, a particularly strong parking revenue source — would add another $95,000, according to the agenda summary. Permit fees support lot maintenance and plowing, parking enforcement and transit services, plus the costs of selling permits and managing the system.

The idea of pricier parking permits isn’t new this year; increases were proposed last year too but ultimately weren’t implemented.

Unlike the season-long permit rates, day skier parking prices are slated to remain the same this season. Parking is free in the paved spaces at Town Park and the adjacent dirt Rodeo Lot, as well as across the street at the lot outside the Black Saddle Bar and Grille and farther down the road at the Brush Creek Park and Ride off Highway 82.

Parking in the lot at the base of the Two Creeks chairlift will be $20 on weekdays and $30 on weekends. Parking in the Base Village garage will be free for the first hour, then $5 per hour until 4 p.m. with a $30 max, contingent on agreement from Base Village Metropolitan District 1, which oversees those operations.

Parking in Two Creeks and the Divide Lot will be free for vehicles that arrive with four or more passengers. Season parking passes will be available for the Two Creeks lot at a rate of $439 for premier pass holders and $549 for those who do not have a premier pass, Aspen Skiing Co. spokesperson Jeff Hanle wrote in an Aug. 20 email.

One other change to this year’s parking plan: the public will no longer have access to parking at Lot C and valet parking at the Viceroy. That was a one-year-only offering to allow more people to park close to the mountain amid pandemic limitations to public transportation capacity, according to the Aug. 16 council packet.

The agreement between the town, Aspen Skiing Co., Snowmass Mountain Lodging and Base Village Metro District 1 runs through April 30 or the last day of the ski season at Snowmass, whichever comes first.

The town will continue to use the electronic license plate-based permitting system rather than physical passes this year.

Proposed winter parking permit price increases
Lodging Guests$10$10$12
Resident’s First Vehicle$60$70$80
Resident’s Second Vehicle$100$110$120
Resident’s Third Vehicle$185$200$220
Resident (Restricted)$40$50$60
Employee (Restricted)$40$50$60
Employee (Transferable)$90$100$110

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include the pricing for a Two Creeks season parking pass.