Protect Our Winters Carpool Parking
Many of you have heard a rumor that parking at Squaw this year is $30 per vehicle. Before you worry, we want to reassure you that there are several parking options this year! Here's what you need to know:
- At Squaw Valley, 800 spots are designated as Protect Our Winters (POW) Carpool parking spots. If you have 3 or more passengers in your vehicle, you can park for free in this premium parking area! These spots are located between Squaw Valley Road and the Village at Squaw Valley. Our two other lots, by Far East and Olympic Valley Lodge, will both remain free for any vehicle daily. If you come up to Squaw by yourself and want to park in the POW area, it will be $30 for non-carpool vehicles.
- At Alpine Meadows, 50 spots are designated as Protect Our Winters (POW) Carpool parking spots during weekends and holidays only. If you have 3 or more passengers in your vehicle, you can park for free by Alpine Lodge. All other parking at Alpine will be free. If you come up to Alpine by yourself and want to park in the POW area, it will be $30 for non-carpool vehicles.
Our goal with POW Parking is to encourage our guests to carpool to help reduce our carbon footprint and combat the traffic congestion issues we deal with daily in the Tahoe area. POW Parking is one of several programs we have introduced this year. We will also be offering a free Park & Ride for both Truckee and Tahoe City this year, and we will soon be releasing more details about our new in-valley shuttle service.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who can park in POW Carpool Parking?
Any vehicle with three or more people can park in POW Carpool Parking for free on a first come, first served basis. Two parents & a baby count as three passengers and are eligible for POW parking. Handicapped individuals with proper placards are eligible for POW parking. At this time we do not allow zero emissions vehicles to park for free with less than three people in the lot, but we are looking into how we can incorporate that into the program.
How is POW Carpool Parking different this season?
For the 2018-19 season, we quadrupled the size of our Protect Our Winters “POW Carpool Parking” area at Squaw Valley. Also new this year, the POW Carpool Parking area will be available as paid parking for non-carpool vehicles, with all spaces available on a first come, first served basis. The goal of POW Carpool Parking is to incentivize guests to carpool to help reduce traffic congestion, reduce the resort’s carbon footprint and make efficient use of limited parking.
Where is POW Carpool Parking located?
POW Carpool Parking is located in a prime location, spanning the entire lot directly north of The Village at Squaw Valley, between Village East Road (Adjacent to the main lobby of the Village at Squaw Valley) and the terminus of Squaw Valley Road (adjacent to PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn).
Am I guaranteed a parking spot if I carpool?
The 800 spaces at Squaw Valley and 50 spaces at Alpine Meadows will be open to carpool vehicles with three or more occupants until they are all filled. Once the premium parking areas meet daily capacity, all vehicles will be directed to the main parking lots.
If the free general parking fills up before the carpool lot, am I required to pay to park?
The POW lot is always designated for carpooling and therefore will always have a charge for non-carpoolers. Some ways you can combat this include: a) carpooling b) arriving early on busy days or c) using one of our other transit options, including TART, the free Truckee and Tahoe City Park & Rides, or our new in-valley shuttle system.
Will some spots in the POW Carpool Parking be reserved for paid customers?
No portion of the POW Carpool lot will be designated for only paid cars. There is nothing to prevent every spot from being taken by carpoolers utilizing the lot for free.
Why are you taking away free parking?
We are not taking away free parking! Part of the idea behind carpool parking is to increase the number of people per car: one car with three people instead of three cars with one person essentially frees up more (free) spaces. We are also working on using our existing parking more efficiently: new paving in the East lot has made the space more efficient and guest friendly, and a new park and ride program will add 100 spaces in Truckee on the 24 busiest days of the season. Additionally, we have removed the valet parking program to dedicate that space to more free parking in the main lots.
POW Carpool Parking itself is completely free—just bring friends and family! The goal of POW Carpool Parking is to incentivize guests to carpool to help reduce traffic congestion, reduce the resort’s carbon footprint and make efficient use of limited parking. Compared to other resorts, we are lucky to have as much free, close-in parking as we do at both Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows to accommodate our guests. We will continue to encourage guests to use carpooling, public transportation and a new park & ride program as alternative ways to get to the resort.
Why are you charging for parking? What is the money used for?
If we want to change behavior, we know we need to do more than just offer free carpool parking. While there is lots of it (4,200 free spots), our parking is a valuable resource. We are giving a value to our most prime parking by offering it at a price or for free for carpoolers. Ideally, no one will be paying for parking and the 800 parking spots at Squaw / 50 parking spots at Alpine reserved for POW Parking will be full of guests who carpooled and parked for free. Paid parking is a revenue source that helps us to pay for the staff and infrastructure that are an important part of the program. POW Carpool parking is no longer on an honor system—we now have parking attendants that are checking in with each vehicle that comes to the lot.
As we all spots are designated for car pool or paid patrons, If we successfully change people’s behavior, and the lot is primarily utilized for car pool, we could be operating this program at a loss. Our goal continues to be to mitigate congestion in our area.
We have always had a paid parking program at Squaw Valley, this is not a new concept here: this program replaced valet parking that we offered in the past. But we still believe there is more we can do to impact the traffic situation and manage our parking resources responsibly. In the past the POW Carpool Parking program has removed about 7,200 cars from the road annually. Now, with a program that is larger and monitored by our staff, we expect that number to be much larger. We know this won’t eliminate the traffic problem, but we think it’s a really important step. Most other large resorts around the country have a combination of paid, free and carpool parking. We are utilizing our parking resource in a way that makes sense for our business, our guests and our environment.
When will POW Parking Operate?
Alpine POW Parking is only on weekends & holidays. Squaw POW Parking will operate daily, season-long.
How many POW Carpool Parking Spots are there? And total number of spots?
We have about 5,000 parking spots at Squaw Valley and 1,600 at Alpine. 800 at Squaw Valley and 50 at Alpine Meadows are designated for carpooling.
How does POW Carpool Parking benefit me?
If you come to Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows with a total of three or more people in your car you will have access to free parking that is close to the base area and lifts. You will also have access to a free 8-passenger golf cart service to help get your group and your gear to the base area. POW Carpool Parking is available on a first come, first served basis.
How will POW Carpool Parking affect traffic?
Between POW Carpool Parking, Park & Ride shuttles from Truckee and in-valley shuttle service we expect to lessen the impact of traffic impacts, especially on busy days. The new arrangement of POW Carpool Parking will also streamline the traffic flow into our lots: guests who want to use POW Carpool Parking or paid parking will be guided by signage towards the end of Squaw Valley Road. There, five gates of entry and parking attendants will usher cars into the lot. All other traffic will be diverted off at the east and middle bridges. At the end of the day, vehicle traffic leaving the POW Carpool Parking area will all be directed toward the east end of the lot, where Village East Road crosses the middle bridge over Squaw Creek.
What else are you doing to combat traffic congestion?
POW Parking is one of several initiatives to combat both traffic congestion and carbon emissions in the Tahoe area. Other new initiatives include a) a free Park & Ride Program that will operate in both Tahoe City and Truckee on weekends & holidays and b) an in-valley shuttle service, sort of like an uber/lyft for guests who are already in the Valley, that can be called with an app and provide transportation.
How long has Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows been running the POW Carpool Parking Program and what have the results been?
In 2016, we partnered with Protect Our Winters to offer free premium “POW Parking” to reward guests who elect to carpool to Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows, with a goal to reduce traffic and the resort’s carbon footprint. Guest participation in the program has increased annually. In the past the POW Carpool Parking program has removed about 7,200 cars from the road annually. Now, with a program that is larger and monitored by our staff, we expect that number to be much larger.
What is the connection with Protect Our Winters? Do the funds from POW Parking go to POW?
Protect Our Winters is an organization we are proud to partner with and work with closely. We also work closely with local pro snowboarder and POW founder Jeremy Jones. The proceeds from the POW Carpool Parking program does not go to POW—we provide other charitable and event support to POW, and together with this program we are encouraging carpooling as a responsible means of transportation. Ikon Pass is a partner of Protect Our Winters as well, you can read more about that partnership here.
Will you continue to offer Valet and Seasonal Parking Passes?
We will continue to offer Seasonal Parking Passes at Squaw Valley and you can purchase them here. We have eliminated our valet parking program in order to use our parking area more efficiently.
Why am I just hearing about this now?
We've sent out information on POW Parking several times over the past few months and it has been on this site since September. Here are some links: