The general response to Stowe’s (VT) new paid parking system has been…how do I say this…uhhh…not positive.
Stowe announced last week that a season parking pass can be purchased for $450, but the pass does not guarantee a spot. All parking on weekends and holidays before 2pm is strictly on a first-come, first-serve basis.
That means a local who has shelled out nearly $1,000 for a season pass and $450 for a season parking pass might not be able to park their vehicle on the busiest days.
Daily parking costs $30, but parking remains free on weekdays and on weekends after 2pm. Vehicles with 4 or more passengers will also be able to park for free.
Stowe announced the seasonal parking pass on their social media accounts on Friday, September 30th. The Instagram post, which you can see below, has garnered hundreds of negative comments.
We’ve picked out some of the best so you can get a feel for how the general public feels about Stowe’s new paid parking system:
@j_skis: “Sending thoughts and prayers to whatever marketing intern has to run this account today. Keep your head up 🙏”
@lilydejongh: “So sad. Been skiing there for 58 years. Used to be a family mountain. No more.”
@mattsnackman: “This is what happens when the stock price drops 40% YOY. CEO: “Find a way to make more $$ without us giving up anything.””
@mattr.ofact: “$450 for the privilege of… still possibly not having a parking spot? What am I missing here.”
@_andredrewniak_:“You guys should be ashamed. Charging that much for parking. You guys just lost A LOT of customers because of your greed. I was at Stowe last year…won’t be going there this year. IKON PASS FOR LIFE”
@davidwcrone: “Best way to avoid parking issues at Stowe, buy an Indy pass”
@ben_stoddard12:“Y’all have done a fantastic job of ruining my and many others favorite mountain in VT. Learned how to ski here, worked here for a bit as an instructor, and wouldn’t dare go anymore. But go figure, this is what happens when you put greed over your local clientele. I feel bad for the workers there because the majority are wonderful. However, the upper management, especially those in vail, deserve every bit of negative press and fight that’s gonna come their way”
@rfdltmmoore: “How is this inclusive? Stowe your pricing middle class out of your area. Lift ticket well over $100 now a parking pass for $. I’ll ski other places that appreciate people not try to exclude people.”
@sean_sidine: “Stowe is over. This place has been ruined”
I’ll insert my two cents if you don’t mind. Maybe I can help make sense of what Vail Resorts/Stowe are up to.
Vail Resorts owns dozens of ski resorts across the globe. In expanding their empire, they’ve devalued the importance of making resort locals happy.
Instead, VR banks on city-dwellers to purchase their Epic Passes en masse at a fairly reasonable rate, plan their yearly vacations to one of their premier resorts, and spend thousands of dollars on lodging, food, and entertainment.
Essentially, it benefits VR more to attract wealthy non-locals to visit their premier resorts, like Stowe, than the people who actually live in the area.
Charging for parking fits that plan. It will discourage a large number of daily skiers from visiting on weekends and holidays, which will in-turn free up traffic for vacationers, and on the slopes themselves.
It’s sad, but that’s the way Vail Resorts is choosing to operate.
I highly recommend that Vermonters, or anybody who lives close enough to Stowe for a day trip, explore other mountains in Northern Vermont.
The soul of skiing still lives on. You just have to know where to find it.
Featured Image Credit: Stowe Reporter