The traffic jams to and from Wasatch Front ski and snowboard resorts are legendary – and getting worse -- so much so that one resort is taking the leap to charge for day parking during the winter months.
Management at Solitude Mountain Resort, which sits near the top of Big Cottonwood Canyon outside of Salt Lake City, has announced that it will charge all skiers and riders who park at the base of the hill.
The first-of-its-kind move is an attempt to address not only traffic congestion up to Salt Lake's four closest resorts – Solitude, Brighton, Alta, and Snowbird – but also to make a dent in air pollution.
New charges are:
- Vehicles with one or two occupants will be charged to park the top rate of $20.
- For cars carrying three skiers and 'boarders, the cost at the Utah mountain drops to $10.
- Those with four or more pay $5 for the half-hour ride. The fees will be paid at kiosk in the parking lots.
Season parking passes can be had, discounted if you're an Ikon or season passholder. Most overnight guests don't pay for parking, depending upon the platform they use for reservations.
Those vehicles with more than two occupants will also get preferential locations closer to the lifts, and a ride-sharing app that awards incentives.
Plus, the resort has upped the number of lockers so that commuters don't have to hassle skis and boots on the bus.
Those who have either a season ticket at Solitude or an Ikon Pass will get free rides up on the Utah Transit Authority buses that load at the bottom of the canyon.
Just up the hill, officials at neighboring Brighton Resort have said they will keep a close eye on whether Solitude skiers and riders try to park in their lots and then head over to Solitude via an interconnect. Many resorts in the West charge for close-in parking, but Solitude is the first to collect money from everyone who parks in its lots at the base of the mountain.