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Airport Parking Prices Go Up To Curtail Single-Day Use

Alex Hager
Aspen Public Radio

It can be hard to find parking in Aspen, much less cheap parking. But some people looking for an inexpensive place to leave their car for the day found a way around feeding the meters in town. Just a few minutes down the road, people found cheaper parking at Aspen-Pitkin County airport.

But now, the airport is bumping up rates to discourage people from using the parking lot for the day.

“We started to monitor closer who was coming and going into and out of the lots,” said airport director John Kinney. “And what we found was we had a lot of day parkers. Or people who were parking their vans, unloading their bicycles, and going up into the hills.”

While visitors to Aspen were taking advantage of the savings, airport customers were sometimes left with nowhere to park before a flight.

“Unfortunately, Kinney said. “Folks would come out here and try to find a parking spot. And as most folks do, because it’s a very convenient airport, they don’t allow a lot of extra time. And then they were finding themselves without parking.”

The new rates, which go into effect Oct. 1, are specifically designed to disincentivize day parking. The airport will charge $6 per hour for the first two to 12 hours of parking, with a $40 maximum on the first day. Then, the second day will max out at $12.

Alex is KUNC's reporter covering the Colorado River Basin. He spent two years at Aspen Public Radio, mainly reporting on the resort economy, the environment and the COVID-19 pandemic. Before that, he covered the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery for KDLG in Dillingham, Alaska.
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