Parking Pinch

23 January
Categories : Mountain Ops
Posted by Scott Pressly

Many ski areas in the west are seeing parking as one of the biggest operational challenges. Monarch can experience this as well during what I call, “A perfect storm”. It should really be called something else because it’s usually far from perfect.

A big 24-hour snow report over the holidays or diring a prime weekend can lead to this type of situation. These are days when the ski area would already be busy (regardless of snowfall) with expected holiday and/or weekend visitors. Throw in a bunch of powder chasers (many of who drive themselves and seem to always be in a big truck or #vanlife). There are also numerous websites and social media outlets that can now pinpoint days in advance what particular ski area to hit on any given day based on snowfall. If it’s a bluebird POW day, people tend to stay longer and spots don’t tend to open up late morning or mid-day like they can on a colder storm day.

Put all of these things together and it’s a problem for people who show up at the mountain between 10am and 1pm on these types of days. This is the perfect storm that we saw on Saturday. My advice to everyone on these types of days is to CARPOOL and get to the mountain before 10am or show up after 1pm. Despite doubling the size of the Paradise Lot last summer, we can still run out of parking during a perfect storm. Fortunately, we do have an agreement with the Monarch Crest to utilize the parking lots at the top of the pass to help facilitate overflow parking. While not ideal, it works in a pinch.

View of parking lots
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