Dillon weighs paid overnight parking enforcement

Cars sit parked at the Dillon Amphitheater July 6. The town council discussed Tuesday the possibility of enforcing paid overnight parking at lots throughout the town.
Luke Vidic/Summit Daily News

Dillon Town Council spoke with Interstate Parking Co. Tuesday to consider whether certain paid overnight parking makes sense for the town. Town Council decided it would move forward with Interstate Parking Co., but the members have not solidified a plan yet. Dillon Town Manager Nathan Johnson said the town plans on creating a draft contract with Interstate Parking Co. to consider at a future meeting.

The council considered the idea of paid overnight parking as a solution to its parking deficiency. Hours of any parking enforcement would likely be from 2-6 a.m., Johnson said.

Councilors said they would prefer to begin enforcement slowly — likely after the summer season — and Mayor Carolyn Skowyra said she wouldn’t want to take residents and visitors by surprise. Interstate Parking representatives said they can install and implement their technology in about a month, but councilors said they would prefer a later rollout, possibly during the fall or winter.

The town still needs to determine which parking lots to enforce and what rates to charge. Other topics to address also emerged, such as what to do with charter buses, private businesses with insufficient parking and solutions for long-term parking for residents.

To the latter, Public Works Director Scott O’Brien said, “The ultimate goal would be to eventually create a parking garage. That would probably be most suitable for long-term parking solutions.”

He added that this possibility had been discussed among staff, but they had discussed little in the way of details yet, including whether it’s necessary and where it would be built.

The town still needs to determine the rate for parking and the cost of possible residents and renters passes. Johnson said the town could consider a small cost for residents in the range of $20 to $50 for six month or one year timeframe, displacing the impact to short-term rentals and visitors.

“Even the locals pass, should be at least $300,” Skowyra said.

She said the cost for maintaining each space year-round was worth that much, since snow needs to be cleared and the spots need paving and painting.

“You’re signing up to use one of these spots in town in the same way that someone who has short-term rental is signing to use spots since they don’t have a spot at their private residence.”

In order to maintain those spots, the available parking lots need rotating so plowing and maintenance crews can work, O’Brien said. That created another question for the council to consider in its contract: how and if available overnight parking would rotate.

Signage to alert drivers where parking was available at specific times was a desire shared by several staff members. Dillon Events and Recreation Director Jessie Klehfoth said she’d appreciate the additional signage to redirect people for major events like the recent Bob Dylan concert.

“We’d love to be able to show that this lot is closed, go to this lot. There’s now this many spaces available. …really direct people through town as they’re arriving instead of them all coming to the amphitheater and then all backtracking from there,” she said.

“Everything gets snarled,” O’Brien said.

People drive downtown looking for empty spots where there are none while surrounded by pedestrians headed to the event, he said, creating traffic jams. He expressed a desire for more signage around town directing people to spots and perhaps a digital sign on Lakeland Drive to alert drivers when parking at certain lots have reached capacity.

Dillon Police Chief Cale Osborn said he’d appreciate Interstate Parking Co. enforcing parking. It would take a burden off his department’s shoulders, he said.

Interstate Parking’s recent partnership with Frisco Bay Marina and its enforcements on Main Street in Frisco cast a shadow over the conversation. While councilors gave no intentions of creating paid day parking at the Dillon Marina, Dillon Marina Director Craig Simson broached the topic and got ahead of the conversation. He said he wanted to make sure slip owners never had to pay twice — once for their slip and again for a parking spot to use it.

Interstate Parking Co. has worked previously in Frisco, Breckenridge and Keystone.

“We’re very familiar with the area,” Interstate Parking Co. General Manager Shelby Schwendeman said.

Interstate Parking Co. would provide payment kiosks and signage at no upfront cost to the town, Interstate Parking Co. Regional Director Jessica Hindmarch said. The town and the company would enter into a revenue sharing agreement, she said.

Like Frisco, Dillon would need to modify town code to allow for a third party to enforce parking regulations in the town, Dillon Town Attorney Nick Cotton said.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Summit Daily is embarking on a multiyear project to digitize its archives going back to 1989 and make them available to the public in partnership with the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection. The full project is expected to cost about $165,000. All donations made in 2023 will go directly toward this project.

Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.