Mt. Bachelor has announced it will do away with its controversial parking reservation system beginning with the summer recreation season.
In a news release, the mountain said improving COVID-19 circumstances means it “does not plan” on revisiting the system this summer or during the 2021/22 winter season.
Declining COVID cases in Deschutes County “moderate risk” level for COVID transmission, which opened up capacity at restaurants, bars and gyms and allowed outdoor recreation facilities to expand their offerings.
Additionally, more than 43,000 people in the county have been vaccinated and that number is expected to jump in the coming months.
“Parking was a new and necessary measure to limit volume in the resort,” said Leigh Capozzi, the ski area’s brand and marketing director. “We can look ahead with some optimism, and recognize it’s been a good tool for this season, but as we look to summer and next winter with the easing restrictions with COVID-19, we don’t anticipate parking in summer or winter of next year.”
The ski area announced in September last year it planned to open to a limited number of skiers and snowboarders each day. To help monitor that, it implemented a new parking reservation system.
Parking passes are free but require anyone who wants to drive up to the mountain in a private vehicle to book a parking space in advance.
It was panned immediately by many locals who were confused about how it worked and how it would impact their ability to wake up on a powder day and head to the hill.
As the winter wore on, criticism softened as people got the hang of it.
The parking reservations are still required for the spring skiing season.