Hayden Those who use Hayden's Yampa Valley Regional Airport as their personal parking lot will have to start paying for premium spots.
Local officials point to second homeowners as the big abusers.
"They park their cars there for three or four months," said Chuck Vale, Routt County's emergency management director.
Airport Director Jim Parker has told county commissioners that people have been using the two asphalt parking lots closest to the terminal instead of the remote gravel lot meant to serve long-term parking.
"There are people who park long term and they actually bring covers to put on their cars," Parker said.
Parker told commissioners he is putting in pay boxes and envelopes at the parking lot located between the terminal and administrative building.
The airport is looking at charging $3 per day or $15 a week for parking at that lot. It holds about 85 cars.
Parker will meet with Hayden police on how to enforce the new parking fees.
"Should we write tickets for abuse? What about towing?" asked Parker, throwing out ideas.
Commissioners seemed responsive to a new revenue source for the airport since the county subsidizes about $600,000 for the airport.
"It may be a good revenue source for the town of Hayden," County Commissioner Ben Beall grinned when he said Hayden police could start ticketing those who abuse the parking. There is still a major flaw to Parker's plan, however.
He said he has no immediate plans to put up pay boxes at the lot immediately next to the terminal.
However, he is working on a way to make the about 200 parking spaces nearest the terminal pay. Rental cars' spaces and 30-minute spaces would not be affected.
As for long-term parking, Parker reminds people that the remote lot will remain free. It's located north of the administrative building.
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