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Historic Park City Alliance adopting wait-and-see approach for Old Town parking this winter

Melissa Allison
There are worries that Park City Mountain's new paid parking system will push visitors to use city parking lots like China Bridge in Old Town.

If too many people use Old Town as their daily resort parking, the alliance would push to increase prices in January.

Historic Park City Alliance Executive Director Ginger Wicks said Tuesday there will be no parking price increases in Old Town this winter, for now.

Wicks said during an HPCA meeting Tuesday that merchants are hesitant to jump the gun with parking price increases before seeing the new parking dynamic play out. For the first time this winter, Park City Mountain is implementing a $25 per day paid reservation parking system at the Mountain Village base area.

“What we’re proposing is to not do anything right now to parking rates, and see how it goes for the first part of the winter season through December and through the holidays," Wicks said.

"And then from there, come back together in early January and sit down again with the city representatives and talk through any issues that may or may not be happening.”

Deer Valley Resort has expressed concerns about Park City Mountain visitors using its Snow Park lot and using public transit to get to PCMR.

If too many people use Old Town as their daily resort parking, Wicks said the alliance would push to increase prices in January.

Under that plan, charges would vary by location and time of day or night. It would be designed to discourage day skier parking. They’d start relatively low, such as $2 for the first hour, but that rate would increase for each subsequent hour. Parking on Main Street would max out at $30 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. China Bridge parking would max out at $25 in the same timeframe.

Those changes would have to be approved by the city council.

There was also a discussion about the Flagpole parking lot, which is directly adjacent to the Old Town Transit Center. The HPCA is considering moving that to entirely employee parking; however, nothing is finalized.

Wicks noted at the meeting that the restaurant Handle shared concerns about the plan, as many of their patrons use that lot, which is conveniently right across the street. Some noted that turning that into employee parking could be an improvement, as people frequently entering and exiting Old Town from the lot tend to create traffic jams.