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Whistler Marketplace eliminating first free hour of parking

Rates will go up to $1 for first 30 minutes, $2 for the first hour, while 15-minute storefront parking remains free
Whistler Marketplace is the resort's busiest parking lot, commonly seeing more than 3,000 vehicles a day.

Parking rates are going up at Whistler Marketplace to better align with other lots around the village, according to a release. 

Effective Monday, Oct. 24, a small charge will now apply to the first hour of parking. The new rate means it will be $1 for the first 30 minutes, or $2 for the first hour. The rates for additional time will remain unchanged, costing $4 for a second hour and $6 for a third hour. 

Fifteen-minute storefront parking remains free, and does not require a driver to register their plate number. 

Under the current program, motorists get one free hour of parking a day at Marketplace. 

The commercial space at Marketplace is privately held by a group of partners, which sets the applicable parking rates. Jim Watts of fastPark, which enforces parking in the lot, believes the decision was made to coincide with pay parking in other areas of the village. He said the new rates should also help to free up more spaces in Whistler's busiest lot, which regularly sees more than 3,000 vehicles a day. 

"It’s a popular parking lot, for sure," Watts said. "Now, if you’re going somewhere else in the village, you might just drive where you’re going rather than park and walk." 

Also starting Oct. 24, fastPark will accept payments at the Marketplace lot through PayByPhone and Honk Mobile, along with Passport Parking Canada, which was already enabled, meaning drivers can use their preferred app to purchase or add additional time without having to go to a pay station. 

"Now people can just use whatever app they have," Watts said. "We have a lot of people from Vancouver Island that use Honk Mobile. PayByPhone is the biggest request we get, because the City of Vancouver and the municipality of Whistler both use it, so people won’t need to have so many apps." 

Pay parking—always a prickly issue in Whistler—was first introduced to Marketplace in 2017. 


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