Breckenridge nears completion of new parking structure |

Breckenridge nears completion of new parking structure

Ribbon cutting set for Nov. 11 in time for ski season

The new parking structure in Breckenridge is pictured Monday, Oct. 4. The structure is set to open on Nov. 12 with the start of ski season.
Lindsey Toomer/Summit Daily News

Ski season is approaching, and Breckenridge will be able to better handle the additional traffic this year with the opening of its new parking structure.

The town is nearing the end of construction on its new parking garage at the South Gondola Lot off North Park Avenue. It’s scheduled to open Nov. 12, the same day Breckenridge Ski Resort plans to fire up its lifts for the resort’s 60th anniversary season.

Once completed, the development will feature 958 parking spaces between the structure and surface lot, an addition of about 400 new spots in total. The structure will also have 22 electric vehicle charging stations on the first floor, and there is capacity to add 38 more chargers should demand increase.

Town engineer Shannon Smith said the work that’s left includes final landscaping, commissioning mechanical equipment and finishing the restrooms. A new roundabout at the corner of Watson Avenue and North Park Avenue will be completed next summer, as well.

At the Sept. 28 Town Council meeting, staff presented council with the winter pricing the town has worked with Vail Resorts to finalize. Vail Resorts owns the land the garage is located on, and the company is allowed to decide parking costs during the winter as part of the lease agreement.

Parking will cost $20 per day during peak periods and $10 per day during off-peak periods. Assistant Town Manager Shannon Haynes said peak days could include holidays, long weekends and a large portion of March, but the dates are not set in stone.

Visitors who arrive between 6 a.m. and 3 p.m. and purchase a day pass will be able to leave their cars in the lot at no additional charge until the garage closes at 2 a.m. Those arriving from 3-8 p.m. will have to pay an hourly rate, which is expected to be similar to existing parking rates in town. There will be free parking between 8 p.m. and 2 a.m., but overnight parking won’t be allowed.

“We just have to make it so that they know that if they pull out of the garage and go to Main Street, they’re going to pay (again), and if they leave their car, they don’t,” Mayor Eric Mamula said at the council meeting.

There will also be QR codes folks who carpool with four or more people will be able to scan to receive a $5 discount.

Town Manager Rick Holman said this winter season would provide the town with its first chance to observe visitor behaviors and watch for patterns in how people use the garage and when they leave at the end of the day. Haynes said the town plans to increase its overnight parking fee at the Ice Rink Lot, but it is waiting to change any other parking fees until it can gather more information.

“We don’t know how the parking structure is going to impact how people are currently parking, so we need some time to see how behaviors change,” Haynes said.

Smith said the parking structure will be managed by Interstate Parking, which is the group that already runs Breck Park in town.

“The payment system mimics what we already have in town for payments on the app, at the parking kiosks, and adds the option to use a QR code for payment or to use the carpool discount,” Smith said in an email.

Holman said there will be a ribbon cutting for the structure with the annual Wake Up Breck celebration the morning of Nov. 11.

The town is hoping that with the parking structure’s close proximity to the downtown area, the transit center, the gondola and the recpath, folks will leave their cars there most of the day.

“We hope guests will arrive to town and park once in the garage to access the mountain, and then follow up with dinner or shopping without moving their vehicle,” Smith said. “We want to reduce reparking by guests throughout the day to help mitigate traffic congestion.”

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