Northstar regulars file lawsuit against Vail Resorts over paid parking
Special to The Union
CRYSTAL BAY, Nev. — Many were upset in October when Northstar California Resort announced that guests would have to pay to park in the Village View lot.
Two Northstar regulars were so upset they filed a lawsuit on Dec. 6 against the resort’s owner, Vail Resorts.
“I was surprised as everybody had to be in discovering, after having purchased my season ticket for Northstar, that one of the main attractions was not there anymore,” said attorney Steven Kroll, 79, who filed the suit along with fellow Crystal Bay, Nev., resident Ronald Code, 77. “I believe people can change rules in advance, they can’t do it retrospectively.”
For Kroll, one of his main concerns since the resort has a no refund policy was the new fees being implemented after purchasing his season pass.
The new established parking fees are $10 daily Monday through Friday, and $20 on weekends and holidays. Now, the only free parking is at Castle Peak, where guests board a shuttle that takes them to the village.
“It is our priority to provide the best possible experience for our guests and their families,” said Deirdra Walsh, vice president and general manager of Northstar in a press release at the time the fees were announced. “Through a conscious decision to control our parking resources, we expect to significantly reduce traffic flow on Northstar Drive, which will ultimately improve our parking and transportation experience for guests.”
A spokesperson for Northstar said they do not comment on cases before they go to court.
While Northstar said the changes were meant to improve traffic flow, many on social media accused the resort of cash grabbing.
Kroll and Code’s lawsuit in the District Court of Nevada allege breach of control and fraud.
In the complaint, Kroll said if he and Code used their passes to the fullest extent, six days a week, they’d pay an extra $2,000 in parking alone.
He also said parking at the free Castle Peak lot would add waiting time in possible bad weather, and danger of having to navigate “long slotted-steel stairways in heavy, clumsy ski boots while bearing their skis and any other equipment.”
Prior to filing the complaint, Kroll sent a letter to Vail laying out his arguments and offering them the chance to settle. Kroll said after dealing with one of Vail’s lawyers, he decided to rescind his settlement offer.
The first part of the complaint alleges Vail committed breach of contract by enacting the change after the passes were purchased. He asked that Vail be required to “specifically perform its obligation to provide plaintiffs free parking at the Home Run parking area for the 2019-2020 ski season.”
“The first (claim) is the one that, if I win it, will give everybody their rights back, not just me,” Kroll said.
A hearing date has not been set yet, but Kroll hopes the case will move quickly since it is a time-sensitive matter.
“I hope season pass holders that are as angry as I am with this happening will support our efforts here in terms of being witnesses, if it comes to that,” Kroll said. “We’re not asking for money but just the moral support and if we go to court, the physical support to back us up.
Laney Griffo is a reporter with the Tahoe Daily Tribune, a sister publication to The Union. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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