Where has all the parking gone? Alberta ski resort facing shortage of spaces
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BANFF, Alta. — A popular ski resort in Alberta is asking people to make some noise about a planned parking ban on a road that leads to the slopes.
Parks Canada notified Sunshine Village near Banff last fall that it was closing the road to parked vehicles next ski season.
The resort is asking members of the public to sign a petition and write their MPs to voice their displeasure.
Sunshine's main lot has room for 1,600 vehicles, but the resort says that often fills up and hundreds of skiers and snowboarders use the access road to park.
Officials say the ban is being brought in because of concerns over avalanches and pedestrian safety.
Sunshine has requested a judicial review of the decision.
A spokesman for Sunshine Village says the ban will have consequences.
“I think it is going to create chaos. I don’t think that Parks Canada has really thought through how this is going to work," said Dave Riley.
"Are they going to park a car or truck in the middle of the access road and turn people away and, if so, where are they going to go?”
Sunshine Village says it may have to increase costs if the parking crunch results in fewer visitors to the hill.
Those who use the resort say they are concerned, but they understand that something needs to be done.
“Somebody needs to come up with a good idea for parking because it’s absolutely crazy on the weekends,” said skier Michael Hehrn. “Quite often during the week there is no place to park."
“There is no parking in here on a busy weekend or any long weekends. It’s pretty crazy,” said snowboarder Nathan Stregger. “I’ve parked a good three or four kilometres back."
The resort says it has received about 1,000 emails since it launched a support website a week ago. Sunshine Village hopes it can drum up enough support so that the federal government takes notice and steps in to reverse the ban.