Frisco Town Council moves forward with paid parking plan for Frisco Bay Marina

Pending approval, system to be implemented Memorial Day

The Frisco Bay Marina is pictured on Monday, Aug. 23, 2021. Frisco Town Council is in the process of implementing paid parking at the marina.
Joel Wexler/For the Summit Daily News

Editor’s note: This story has been corrected to note that the town of Frisco will receive higher percentage in the revenue split with Interstate Parking Co.

Multiple changes have been happening at the Frisco Marina, from a new beach to an upcoming lawn redesign and more. Now, visitors may soon be greeted by paid parking. Frisco Town Council discussed what the system would look like at a work session Tuesday, April 12.

The town’s goal with paid parking is to alleviate stress on the lots, which have seen a substantial increase in visitors over the last several years. Town staff reported that people are staying at the marina longer, which reduces parking space turnover, lessens availability and leads to full capacity during busy summer days.

The marina currently has four free parking areas with a total of 321 spaces. Of those, 201 are paved and 120 are unpaved.

After issuing a request for proposals in March, Town Council is poised to enter a three-year contract with Interstate Parking Co. to solve the problem. The company operates over 265 locations in multiple states, and it is known locally for providing parking services in places like Breckenridge, Keystone and the Quandary Peak trailhead.

“This is something the planning commission has wanted to do for a long time, so I’m in favor,” council member Andy Held said.

Similar to its other operations, Interstate proposes a flexible user payment system of scanable QR codes and solar-powered kiosks. There will be no upfront cost to the town for Interstate to handle marina parking. Rather, revenue sharing is planned to start at an 83-17 split, with the higher percentage going to the town, and move to 68-32 and then 50-50 based on capacity.

Interstate is also signed up to help with the 205 free parking spaces on Main Street. The spaces have a three-hour time limit that is often exceeded yet rarely enforced, and Interstate would now issue violations with revenues going to the town. The added duties would cost the town $1,149 per month during winter months.

Interstate estimates that marina parking fees could generate over $300,000 for the summer season, and monies collected would go toward funding marina-specific projects.

“I’m totally for it,” Frisco Bay Marina general manager Logan Snyder said. “There is going to be some growing pains where people are getting used to it and kind of grumbling that they don’t want to pay. But Colorado is growing so much. … I know anywhere I go I’m going to pay for parking now.”

Much of the council discussion focused on rates. While some council members thought a tiered system would be set up for the different marina lots, all spaces — paved and unpaved — are going to be charged the same. The first 30 minutes will be free and then each half hour afterward would be 75 cents, with a $10 maximum on Mondays through Thursdays. On Fridays through Sundays, as well as holidays, it is free for the first half hour, 75 cents a half hour for the following three hours and then the rate increases to $2.50 per half hour, capping at a maximum of $15.

Paid parking is only from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and overnight parking will still be available for boaters. If a truck or trailer takes two spaces, then they pay double the rates. Rates can return to council in the future and be adjusted as needed.

“The simpler the better,” council member Melissa Sherburne said. “I think we should ease into it and not overcomplicate it right now.”

A limited number of season parking passes — 80, or roughly 25% of spaces — will be available for purchase. Passes wouldn’t guarantee a parking space. Instead, they’re tailored for heavy users to save money.

Council discussed how the passes would function with regards to paying slip holders, and there was debate on preferential treatment or reduced rates.

“I don’t see slip holders as being any special use group in this area,” Mayor Hunter Mortensen said. “I think the people going to the playground are the same people going for the same reason as the slip holder. … It’s for everyone down there. They got no special rights just because they have a boat floating in the water.”

Others, like council member Dan Fallon, disagreed.

“They’re vested in the success of the marina, and their usage tends to support a discounted parking rate because they spend so much time down there … and ultimately … they spend more money down there,” Fallon said.

In the end, it was decided to give pass priority to seasonal rack, slip and mooring customers on a first-come, first-served basis. The cost of a season pass has yet to be determined.

A contract is being drafted with Interstate, and its approval is slated to be part of the council’s consent agenda for its April 26 meeting. If approved, the paid parking at the marina will begin Memorial Day and last through Labor Day each year.

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