BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – One of the biggest problems for Eldora Ski Area will soon have a solution. It could end up costing some skiers and snowboarders more money.
“We really know having more parking spots on site will make a big difference. That will reduce traffic in town, reduce the backup we’ve had into the canyon on some peak days,” said Brent Tregaskis, the President and General Manager of Eldora.
For the past eight years, the ski area has looked at what can be done to increase parking. Negotiations with Boulder County have been going on ever since.
This week, county commissioners gave approval for about 800 new spots and a parking fee. On weekends and weekdays that see more than 10 inches of new snow, drivers who are alone will pay $10.
The fee will begin next ski season.
“I’m on record saying I really prefer not to charge for parking. That was my ultimate goal, but really when you think about it in the environmental context, we needed to reduce single occupancy vehicles coming to the resort. Eldora is famous for that. We have so many people coming by themselves that it’s messed up the parking for the last several years.,” Tregaskis said.
The $10 fee will go toward a company that will enforce the policy, then will fund other carpooling initiatives including parking lot rentals, new buses and shuttles. A portion of the parking lot near the Alpenglow lift will be reserved for 200 cars that have more than three people in them.
“What’s keeping anyone from coming up on the weekend? It’s traffic,” said skier Tyler Smith. On Wednesday, Smith was alone at Eldora. Under next year’s new rules, he wouldn’t have to pay.
The policy has made him think more about carpooling.
“We’re trying to get more people in, make sure they know they can come to a place like Eldora and know they can get in. We believe by doing so, for single occupancy vehicles only, if we can accomplish the goal of getting more than two people per car, the county is happy, everybody is happy, and we think it will make a big difference,” Tregaskis said.