After outcry, Brighton makes more tweaks to parking reservations plan

Big Cottonwood Canyon resort is ditching weekday reservation except during holidays.

Scott Sommerdorf | The Salt Lake Tribune The parking lot was packed at Brighton Ski Resort, Saturday December 21, 2013. Parking has only grown in demand in the past 10 years, leading to the resort announcing it would require reservations this season. On Thursday, Dec. 14, 2023, it announced those reservations would only be necessary on weekends and holidays.

Update: Dec. 15, 2023, 9:30 a.m. >> The Town of Brighton has begun requiring paid parking reservations only on weekends and holidays.

Brighton is giving pass holders yet another excuse to catch powder fever.

Starting Monday, skiers and snowboarders will no longer need a paid parking reservation on weekdays at the Big Cottonwood Canyon resort. Reservations will still be required Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays until 1 p.m.

The change came as the resort examined what was working and what wasn’t after it initiated a mandatory parking reservation system at the start of the season. Brighton spokesperson Jared Winkler said numerous guests voiced their desire for more flexibility and less cost on weekdays.

“I want to express our sincere appreciation for the patience, support, and valuable feedback from our community as we navigate the challenges of parking reservations,” Winkler said in a statement provided to The Tribune. “We want to assure you that we are attentive, your voices are heard, and we are diligently examining our processes to offer the most convenient and flexible options.”

Brighton skiers and riders will have one week to take advantage of the free parking before holiday restrictions kick in. Reservations will be required daily from Dec. 25 through Jan. 2 as well as on Jan. 15 and Feb. 19, both Mondays. Anyone who has booked a weekday reservation outside of those dates will have their reservation canceled and will be refunded the parking fee.

Parking reservations cost $20 but are free for vehicles with three or more passengers and for certain Brighton season pass holders. Winkler said paid parking will still be available on weekdays but most lots will be free.

The resort has received some pushback over its parking program this season, not necessarily because people are upset they have to have a reservation but because they can’t make one. Currently, no Sunday reservations are available until mid-February and Saturday reservations aren’t available until March.

In a news release issued Friday, the resort emphasized that more parking will be released each Sunday at 6 p.m. for the following weekend. Additional spots may be made available at 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. the day prior (i.e., Friday for Saturday). Plus, more parking may come online until 7 a.m. each weekend day, which is the deadline for those with reservations to cancel them without penalty.

Lots are closed from midnight to 7 a.m. each day. Parking is free daily after 1 p.m.

Brighton begins night skiing and riding Friday with lifts running until 9 p.m.

The Town of Brighton will also require paid parking reservations on weekends starting Friday. According to its website, parking will be allowed on the south side of State Highway 190 from a quarter-mile up from Willow Lake trailhead to Guardsman Pass. Reservations will cost $10 and are required from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday through Sunday and holidays.