BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. – The Boulder County Board of Commissioners has approved a controversial plan to allow Eldora Mountain Resort to expand its parking lots.
Eldora currently has 1,400 parking spots. The approved plan adds 805 spots to two existing parking lots. They will be phased in starting next ski season.
“We think this is the best thing that could happen for the community, to get 800 spots. It will decrease traffic problems in Nederland. It’s a win for everybody. We’re trying to be a very responsible and environmentally sensitive company, trying to do all the right things, trying to get along with you guys and the public," said Brent Tregaskis, Eldora's general manager and president.
Eldora has had to turn away visitors recently due to its lack of parking.
“The intent of the application is to address existing traffic issues, including extensive queuing onto Shelf Road and into the town of Nederland on really busy days," said Summer Frederickson, Boulder County’s Planning Division Manager of the Development Review Team.
Most people at Tuesday’s public hearing supported the idea of expanding the parking lots.
“The biggest waste is if a car drives all the way up, gets turned back, used all of the emissions, done all the driving, they don’t even get to ski," said Alan Richardson, a Boulder County resident.
And some welcome more traffic.
“Now people are actually stopping spending time in Nederland, doing business in the town. So I support the expansion of parking good thing for town," Nederland business owner Marcus Luscher said.
But not everyone is convinced that adding parking spots is the right solution. Resident Lisa White spoke in favor of more buses and shuttles.
"Yes, it will reduce traffic. But it won’t reduce pollution and the impact on our quality of life," she said of the new parking plan.
Frederickson said this should not create more traffic, as Eldora currently has a cap of 5,000 skiers per day.
“Because they are required to abide by those numbers, additional parking or additional traffic won’t be generated," Frederickson said. "These additional parking spaces will alleviate the existing folks that are coming up there."
According to the plan, Eldora will charge $10 per car on weekends and peak days. There will also be priority parking for vehicles with more than three people.