They finally said it out loud. PEG Companies, the developer of the Park City Resort parking lots, acknowledged that they would charge for parking at the resort if and when their project is built. The reason given was to reduce traffic and encourage carpooling and public transport. Valid goals. It is also realistic to try to recoup some of the costs associated with parking structures.
Parking garages are terribly expensive. An entrepreneur friend pointed out that the main difference between a parking garage and a hotel meeting room is carpeting. Otherwise, the costs of ventilation, elevators, lighting, sprinklers and pretty much everything else are there. They are not cheap to operate.
In a normal situation, the ski resort would own and operate its own parking lot. It would decide internally the share of the cost to be absorbed in the price of the lift ticket and the amount to be charged to the card. So far there are no paid toilets at the PCMR. The significant cost of building and maintaining bathrooms is buried in the lift ticket. After last winter‘s experience with these disgusting trailers, everyone seems to have resorted to ‘skiing in the trees’, so a paid toilet system would not have generated much revenue.
On the other side, lunch is not included in the lift ticket. If you want to eat you can buy whatever you want and pay for it in addition to the elevators. For nearly 60 years of Park City Mountain Resort, parking has been treated like bathrooms. When they convert to multi-level parking structures, owned by a third party, it will be treated as lunch. I don’t like it, but I understand it. It’s inevitable. Another case where growth affects the quality of life.
I am also the source of the problem personally. I find a group of friends to ski. We all come from different directions. Trying to get together to carpool would force everyone to travel several miles. The assembly of carpooling actually generates more traffic, just in different neighborhoods. Instead, we all arrive in the American style, one for a car, and we expect a free, open parking space to be waiting for us.
No more. If the PEG plan goes ahead (and with completely insane construction prices the project looks harder than ever), there will be some nice parking structures with employees driving their cars from Salt Lake to collect the charges. fresh. I wonder where they are going to park. The option of fewer skiers is not under discussion. The Epic Pass price reduction aims to increase the number of skiers, largely from Salt Lake City in this market. The developer says he wants to encourage the use of shuttles that do not exist.
This cannot be the end of the discussion. It’s the beginning. PEG, as a developer, is not in the transit or commuting business. They do not have an offsite location for isolated parking. But before the city approves the development, this needs to be resolved. The idea of ââusing a shuttle service is not appealing. As much as I ski, the $ 20 per day parking fee would really add up. The use of a free remote park shuttle is at least conceptually possible. But everything is conceptual. Parking in ski areas has been a problem for several years and the city cannot go beyond the conceptual stage. Ultimately, something, somewhere, has to be paved. It will be ugly and nobody wants it in their neighborhood.
Where will the distant lot be? who will pay for it? Who pays for the shuttle vehicles and the employees to drive them? How often do they run? How long do I have to wait in the remote theoretical car park with thousands of other skiers arriving at the same time to take a shuttle to the base of the resort? Show me how it works. Pour concrete. Do something.
Before the plague, the bus system was a viable option in the city. It remains to be seen whether the runners will return or not. The bus will always be slower than driving your own car as it stops frequently and takes a roundabout route to pick up others. The further you move away from the heart of the city, the less viable it is. It does not work from Salt Lake, Heber or Kamas. We are still dependent on private cars, and that will not change.
The discussion should focus on how the new parking / shuttle system works. It’s a discussion that goes beyond the ownership limits of the parking lot ownership and the PEG app. It should involve station, city and county management with its new redundant bus system. Deer Valley Resort is about a year away from facing the same issue with its parking lot development plans. There may be a secluded parking lot and a shuttle system that are jointly operated and funded. Without a complete solution, a real sidewalk, and real shuttle vehicles, charging for parking at the station just pushes the problem out of the station to someone else. We can’t all park at the Fresh Market.
Tom Clyde practiced law in Park City for many years. He lives on a working ranch in Woodland and has been writing this column since 1986.