Park It Forward
Parking is a hot topic—it gets discussed pretty much daily. And rightfully so...it’s the first touchpoint for most of our guests. And it can be frustrating, especially on a day when we fill all available parking lots—like this past Sunday.
Sunday was the second time this winter that all resort parking lots filled completely. Given that we received 43” of snow in 7 days leading into that bluebird day, it wasn’t surprising that the anticipation to ski on Sunday was high.
Sunday saw a high number of skier visits, but it was far from the largest of the season. Yet, on the days when we saw higher skier visits (compared to Sunday), parking never reached full capacity.
We manage skier visit capacity with the limiting of day tickets, pass reservation and other means. However, we cannot accurately determine how many vehicles will arrive.
There are three major factors to how many vehicles can be parked at resort lots.
- Example: Four (4) Adult Day tickets are purchased online. Do those four guests arrive in four separate vehicles? Or do they arrive together in one vehicle?
Shuttle Usage: Shuttles service local lodging associations and resort Escape Route parking lots. Historically, Sundays see much lower shuttle use. We suspect this is due to checkout times and many guests intending to travel immediately after skiing.
- Early Sunday morning, our Shuttle team faced some unforeseen challenges and additionally, were notified that a third-party shuttle service would not be operating that day. Our team began to share routes to help. At 8:45am, a notice via the Loon app was sent to notify users to expect delays to shuttle service. What compounded the delays in service to all routes was the amount of traffic on Route 112, Cooper Memorial Drive and Crooked Mountain Road.
Door-to-Door Space: How we park our own vehicle makes a big difference on others arriving at the resort because it impacts in the number of vehicles that can fit in a parking lot.
- After a parking lot fills, we count the number of vehicles parked and compare that to the lot capacity. We consistently find vehicles with 5 feet of space between, door-to-door. That’s almost enough room to fit a small car.
- Next time you arrive by vehicle consider how much space there is between you and the vehicle next to you.
On Sunday, we saw a perfect storm and are indeed making changes to be better prepared for this weekend and the days ahead.
It is weekends like this past one that makes the South Peak expansion project so important. And that project is making good progress. The first shipments from Doppelmayr (lift manufacturer) are scheduled to arrive this month and elements of the snowmaking infrastructure are already on site.
I hope this note sheds light on parking challenges and the factors that contribute to reaching parking capacity.
March is off to a strong start, and I am looking forward to more snow.