In May 2020, the Town of Breckenridge broke ground on a new parking structure in the town center at the South Gondola Lot. This 18-month build out will bring 400 new parking spots, for a total of 950 spots. The lot is the result of a long-anticipated agreement with Vail Resorts. The design and architecture of the lot will be visually appealing and inline with the modern mountain community aesthetic in Breck. The build out will also entail an updated plaza, trails and lighting. Parking in town is a critical need to serve our community members and guests. The total cost of the proposed parking project is $41 million dollars - about one-third of these dollars will remain in our community paying local contractors and companies who need that business more than ever right now.
The Breckenridge Town Council has been looking to increase parking spaces in the downtown area. A design team lead by Walker Parking Consultants was selected to provide design services for the project earlier this year.
At the May 28, 2019 Town Council meeting, an Ordinance was approved that allows the Town to enter into a 50 year ground lease with the Ski Resort to use the South Gondola Lot for the development, construction and operation of a new parking facility, including a garage and a surface parking lot. June 18, 2019, the South Gondola Parking Structure was brought to the Planning Commission as a worksession to discuss key design elements, including height and architecture for feedback.
Previously in 2017, the Town processed an application for a parking structure on the F lot/Tiger Dredge Lot. The Council ultimately decided not to proceed with the structure because the site, although the best of the Town owned properties, was not as preferable of a location as non-Town owned properties such as the South Gondola Lot. At their January 14 meeting, the Breckenridge approved the South Gondola Parking Structure as a Town Project. Access the full Town Project report here.
STRUCTURE AND BUDGET
The South Gondola Lot Parking Structure project includes a 719 space parking structure, a 245 space surface lot, and pedestrian improvements along the eastern corridor. The proposed parking structure totals 249,984 sq. ft. and will provide 412 additional spaces beyond the South Gondola Lot’s current capacity. The parcel is approximately 6.4 acres in size, with access from North Park Avenue and Watson Avenue. Architectural details of the garage include wooden siding and stone accents, enclosed elevator and stair towers, and robust landscaping. To provide a high level of service to our guests, amenities added to the structure include two elevator locations, heated sidewalks, parking availability signage, and a restroom facility with 22 stalls (12 women, 9 men, 1 family).
The parking structure also includes the initial installation of 20 EV chargers and electrical capacity for an additional 24 vehicle charging stations. Provisions for e-bikes are currently being added to the design. Photovoltaic panels are also included on the south and west facing roofs.
Staff, with our general contractor (GC) Hyder Construction, has worked to compile a comprehensive budget estimate for the project. The overall budget for the project is estimated at approximately $43 million dollars. This budget estimate was derived from Design Development plans, which is about an 80% design, and therefore includes a design contingency of 6.5% and an Owner’s contingency of 10%. A design contingency is proportioned to include omissions from the drawings that will be clarified and included in the final construction documents. The Owner’s contingency is applied to changes requested by the Owner or unforeseen circumstances that arise on the project, and will be carried as a line in the final budget. Hyder has provided an updated figure for local dollars spent on the project between subcontractors, suppliers, and lodging as $10.5 M (27.6%) of the GMP.
Owner's Costs Proposed Budget
Design Costs: $1,750,000
Geotech & Testing Services: $400,000
Utilities (Xcel & Century Link): $250,000
IT, Low Voltage, Lighting Controls: $100,000
Additional Wayfinding: $250,000
Additional Parking Technology Equipment: $150,000
Hyder GMP (4/15/20): $38,217,946
Owner’s Construction Contingency (5%): $1,910,897
Total Estimated Budget: $43,068,843
The construction timeline is expect to be approximately 18 months: May 2020 to November 2021.
6/12/20: Mass Excavation Begins
7/20/20: Deep Utility Installation
9/22/20- 1/21/21: Precast Erection
2/3/21: Begin Masonry Walls for Cores
2/19/21: Begin Snow Melt System Work
5/12/21: Begin Site Work: sidewalks, pavers, landscaping.
9/27/21: Final Asphalt Paving
10/19/21: Begin Final Inspections
November 2021: Project Completion
The Town of Breckenridge and Vail Resorts entered into a ground lease for the South Gondola lot and structure. The Lease has an initial term of 50 years, beginning on the date when the Town begins construction of the Project. The Town has the right to extend the Lease for two additional terms of 10 years each. During each Ski Season, VSRI alone may set pricing and hours of operation of the Project (including variable pricing). For the first Ski Season after the Project Opening, VSRI will base its pricing on the rate charged for the previous Ski Season. In subsequent years, VSRI may not increase the highest parking rate by more than 20% of the highest rate charged during the previous Ski Season unless the Town agrees to a larger increase. On all days outside of the Ski Season, the Town sets parking pricing and strategies for the Project. The parties will collaborate on parking plans to encourage parking patrons to extend their stay beyond those ski hours (with strategies such as such as reductions or waivers of fees to remain parked in the Project beyond peak departure periods).
The South Gondola Ground Lease with Vail Summit Resorts, Inc. requires the Town to approve the “Project Financing” for the construction of the new parking structure not later than July 1, 2020. The Town has hired Butler & Snow LLP as our bond counsel for the Project Financing, and has engaged Stifel, Nicolaus & Company to act as the underwriter. We have been working with our bond counsel and underwriter to satisfy the other requirements of the Ground Lease with respect to the Project Financing. Both the Ground Lease and the Town’s Charter require that the Project Financing be approved by the Town Council through the adoption of an ordinance. The Town’s bond counsel has drafted a proposed ordinance approving the Project Financing, and it is provided to you along with this memo. The form of the Project Financing will be “certificates of participation” (COPs or Certificates). COPs are a common form of municipal borrowing in part because they do not require a municipal election to approve their issuance. Town Council approved the financing at their May 26 meeting.
During the construction of the South Gondola lot structure, the Town of Breckenridge encourages all guests to park out at the free Airport Road Lot. Many of our day skiers are used to utilizing this parking during the ski season once the gondola lots are full. The Town has ample parking at the Airport Road Lot (approximately 700 spots). While the location for parking will change, there is still plenty of parking for those who wish to visit Breckenridge.
Day-use guests can easily park at the Airport Road Lot and walk or bike along the Blue River Recreational Path or take the Breckenridge Free Ride into the core of town or to their destination. The North Gondola Lot will remain open for use, along with the Ice Rink lot for those coming in through the south on 285. As always, we encourage both our day use guests and rental visitors to park their cars for the day or at their rental and enjoy the walk-ability and bus service throughout Town.
Employees will continue to park based on their employee permit restrictions or at the Airport Road parking lot. We encourage employees to check with their employers about parking options and green commutes programs. The Breckenridge Free Ride will be running from the Airport Parking lot to ensure that employees can get into the core of town but employee parking permits within Town still remain for use. Employees on the south end of Town are also encouraged to the use Ice Rink parking lot.
The Town of Breckenridge encourages all residents, employees, and locals to utilize alternate modes of transportation, such as biking, during this time. While building the parking structure to address a critical need for spaces in the core of Town, the Town of Breckenridge remains committed to its sustainability goals, namely green commutes, carpooling, and bus commutes. If you live in Town, we encourage you to walk, bike, or take the bus to your destination. If you work in Town, we encourage you to carpool with roommates or park at the Airport Road lot and take the bus.