Downtown business owners mixed on increased parking fees, extended hours

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COLORADO SPRINGS — 2020 is bringing major changes to Downtown Colorado Springs and Old Colorado City.

Parking meter prices and hours are increasing for the first time since 2006.

Meters are increasing by 25 cents per hour and Sundays will no longer be free to park.

Some downtown business owners like Pikes Peak Lemonade (PPL) said the increase was to be expected.

“It’s more than time for them to raise the parking meter fees that’s not a big deal,” PPL Owner Ches DiDonato said.

Down the street, Oskar Blues employees are not so sure.

“It’s scary to think about a rise in prices to park downtown, we are downtown and most of our parking to get to Oskar Blues is on the street,” General Manager Jennifer Cancellier said. “Lots of people will be weary and won’t pay the extra quarter.”

According to the Downtown Partnership of Colorado Springs, the change will create better turnover in metered spaces, helps respond to the changing needs of a city center, and bring rates more in alignment with market value.

“There are pros and cons and I definitely know with certain restaurants, servers will take advantage of the parking spots on the street and takes those spots for the whole day,” Cancellier said.

New meters are set to be installed later this year along with mobile payment options to allow users to add time to their meters remotely.

“The prices haven’t been raised in over a decade so it’s fair for the City to do that and from what I read all the money will go back in the parking system,” DiDonato, said. “It’s a great way for them to clear traffic on Sundays.”

“Sundays are no longer free and that’s going to change our brunch and dinner service,” Cancellier said.

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