Visitors offer mixed comments on new Frisco Bay Marina paid parking program

Supporters say the price and regulation are fair, detractors say it clogs up Main Street

Paddlers and relaxers take to the Frisco Bay Marina Thursday, July 14, 2022.
Luke Vidic/Summit Daily News

Frisco instituted paid parking at the Frisco Bay Marina this summer through a partnership with Interstate Parking Company. The decision — stemming from a desire to curtail traffic and encourage alternatives to driving — faced contention and opposition at Frisco Town Council meetings. Some slip holders and those paying to rack their paddle craft felt like they were being double-billed.

Visitors parking at the marina can pay for a spot or purchase a $99 season pass. Fines for not paying start at $75 and will double if left unpaid for too long.

Since coming into operation, visitors to the marina were asked Friday what they thought of the paid parking change. Is the price worth a few more open spots?

David Sherman and Susan Goier have not been fans of Frisco’s paid parking at the marina. The pair of longtime Frisco residents shelve their kayaks at the Frisco marina and dock their sailboat in Dillon. They come to the Frisco Bay Marina to kayak a couple times a week.

Sherman said parking should come free with a boat slip or kayak rack. Sherman said they’d already paid about $600 for two kayak racks. Goier said, at the very least, it should be discounted. Going further, Sherman said, “Residents shouldn’t have to pay.”

“They’re too focused on raising revenue. They should be focused on providing service,” Sherman said.

Goier also wondered if all user groups should pay the same rate. When council approved its paid parking agreement with Interstate Parking Co., it decided to avoid discriminating based on user group.

“You’re going to charge the person who pays you several thousand dollars to have a slip to park and somebody who’s going to come for a day and put a towel on the beach — you’re going to charge the same for parking?” Goier said. “It doesn’t make sense.”  

Paid parking only created more problems, Sherman claimed. More cars are parking on Main Street, moving traffic from the marina to the downtown area.

The pair arrived around 8:30 a.m. on Friday, and by 9:30, they said they’d struggle to find a spot.

Sherman said they could walk the block or two it takes to reach the marina from their Frisco home, but they’d need to carry their kayaking gear with them. As they spoke, a woman biked past with a paddleboard secured to a rack on the side of her bike.

Norman and Renee Stoller of Frisco shared a similar thought. The pair live near the post office in Frisco and have been full time Frisco residents since 2005. It would be a walkable distance to the marina from their Frisco home but only if they had no paddles to carry with them. For that reason, they usually drive and hunt for a place to park and pay.

“It doesn’t bother us,” Norman Stoller said. Although, he added, he hopes the town never considers paid parking on Main Street.

They rack their canoe at the marina and have gone out on the water three times this year but have been paddling at the marina for years.

Overall, traffic Friday seemed down from the COVID-19 pandemic years, Norman Stoller said. The pair usually arrive between 9-10 a.m., just as the early birds are leaving, Renee Stoller said.

He also said, as far as he could tell, paid parking at the marina had hardly made a difference to the number of cars parked on Main Street.

Keystone resident Sylvie Harlan said crowds were usually bad on weekends, but she hadn’t noticed a distinct change in available parking spots compared to previous years. She visits the marina almost five mornings a week, usually before work. She says she tries to get out of the water by 10 a.m.

She thought of paid parking as a contribution to the marina.

“I believe in supporting the marina since I use it,” she said.

Ashleigh Shiffler, a Denver resident visiting the marina Friday, said it didn’t feel crowded to her. She had only been to the marina once before, earlier in the summer. She considered the pay rate very reasonable.

Several respondents who were also visiting from outside the county considered the price fair and reasonable.

The Sullivan family, visiting for the weekend from Longmont, stopped by the marina Friday before they planned to race the Copper Triangle on Saturday. They said they visit the marina about once a year, usually before the Triangle, and said this was the first year they didn’t waste time looking for a parking spot.

“We found a parking spot without driving around for three hours,” Carol Sullivan said.

They parked without realizing the marina required paid parking. But even after learning that, Roy Sullivan said it didn’t make a difference. Either way, they’d park there.

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