Winter Park Resort paid parking, locals respond
May 17, 2016
Brian Nichols, 49, of Fraser is a season pass holder at Winter Park Resort. This season he parked at Mary Jane when he skied at the resort for convenience. However in March, he stopped going to Mary Jane since the lines were so long and he could park on the Winter Park side off US Highway 40 in the turn out lot. He was frustrated with the parking situation.
"We all feel and have seen this past year how crowded the Mary Jane base has become," he said. "And people aren't parking in Vintage Lot."
His friends from out of town will pay to park. "It's easier," he said.
"But all day, that lot is pretty vacant. No one is parking there."
When interviewed during the season by employees of Interwest, questions asked on a chairlift ride included what he thought about his experience at the resort and in the village.
"I commented on the village and how Mary Jane is overcrowded because of parking. I told her there are two lanes of traffic going into Mary Jane and there are traffic jams on Saturdays and holidays."
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Dallas Davis-Timms, 37, of Tabernash skis at Winter Park Resort.
"Parking at Winter Park Resort is inconvenient when Mary Jane is not open [at the beginning of the season]," Davis-Timms said.
On busy weekends the Mary Jane parking filled up quickly, he said.
"You have to get there before the lifts even open and sometimes parking on the highway."
One reoccurring comment from locals, including Davis-Timms related to where public transit drops off.
"It's not encouraging to take public transportation when the bus drops off at the end of village," he said. "If you want to encourage public transportation drop off at the base by the Balcony House."
This season he tried to park on the Mary Jane side but it was difficult getting there with traffic jams and stop-and-go traffic leading into the turn off of US 40 for Mary Jane.
"I don't feel like paid parking improved my experience. No one in town said the paid parking was a success but I understand it is a revenue stream for them," he said.
He also said that while he didn't see an increase in lift lines at Mary Jane, it was just more difficult to get to the Mary Jane side of the resort on weekends.
The resort contracts with Fraser-Winter Park Police to have traffic enforcement at Mary Jane, and officers help busses get in and out of US 40.
"We noticed the amount of cars and had to close the road early because they exceed parking capacity," said Fraser-Winter Park Police Chief Glen Trainor.
Regarding cars parked on US 40 from Old Town Drive to Winter Park Drive – it wasn't a concern from CDOT.
"We reached out to CDOT and they didn't have a lot of concerns," said Trainor. "They began plowing more so people could park."
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