Results of Member Paid Parking Survey
Results of Member Paid Parking Survey
We polled members in April to learn what members think of paid parking. Here's what you said.
The following paid parking survey results have not been edited for grammar, punctuation or tone. We did not include responses that did not answer the question. We do note those entries that are based on speculation with an asterisk * so we can investigate the assumption with evidence from further guest and employee experience data.
|It will help in preventing all day parking, when we have a parking garage that is free
||The impact on downtown businesses and their employees do not outweigh the Town of Estes seeking yet another revenue stream that costs businesses year-round and visitors only on occasion. Poor decision by the Town not looking at "unintended consequences" of their action.|
|It's a scarce amenity and needs resources to manage.
||Paid parking does NOT generate revenue. Every town that has enacted it simply runs up the staffing and expenditures to meet (or exceed) all revenues generated. Making it worse: it deters visitation (especially return visits) by the engine of our economy: tourism! Finally, it punishes LOCALS who now have to PAY to support their local economy since there is NO provision for free parking for those paying taxes in 80517.|
|This is an essential funding mechanism for our town and is long overdue. Coupled with the paid parking system should be a shuttle service for employees to park in outward lots (By the fairgrounds) if traveling far into town from outward areas. It would run between 7 and 10:30 am, again at 1 till 2:30, and again at 7–10:30 PM to allow all employees to utilize the FREE service off set by the paid parking. Revenue from paid parking may also be put into the roads/infrastructure budget to help maintain/expand current parking lots and structures and roads heavily abused by excessive traffic. Encouraging employees to bike/walk to work, with addition of bike racks placed strategically to what is already available.||While there are other downtown areas that use paid parking none of them have the same atmosphere as Estes. I don't believe that Estes wants to be like Boulder and using their success with paid parking as justification for us to do so isn't a great comparison. Rather than having infrastructure that is critical to locals (post office, town hall, library) in the middle of the busy tourist areas why not look to relocate to a quieter location (Hwy 7 corridor) where locals can conduct business without the need to park downtown. The prime real estate the Town currently occupies could pay for additional parking improvements and alleviate road congestion by removing locals from the traffic flow.|
|To better serve all visitors. Parking is a limited resource that needs to be managed. Paid parking is the most effective way to manage it.||The motive was stated as turnover, but the town wants the money.*|
|To many downtown owners and employees refuse to walk more the 50 ft. to there place of work and take valuable spaces that customers could use.||I see no benefit to downtown businesses, to much money taken by outside company, not friendly to our visitors.
|Studies have shown that paid parking helps with vehicle turnover and more visitors will be able to find spots in a more timely fashion.
||It will cause people to park where they shouldn’t. I.e. Stanley Village parking lot. No paid parking. They still won’t use the parking garage|
|To encourage turn over in parking and hopefully reduce traffic circling lots looking for spaces. Also to move town and business owners/employess out of the downtown spaces.||I believe this will keep people from parking downtown and then catching the shuttle to RMNP making the space unavailable to shoppers for the rest of the day.*|
|To Encourage use of parking garage and overall transit system.||Not in keeping with our family friendly image. May turn off many people.|
|Makes money move through town faster
||I am concerned it might negatively impact the visitor experience.|
|We need turnover to help our downtown businesses thrive. Having premium spaces full all day by those visiting the park or at least not shopping or eating needs to be addressed and this is an option that the town can do.
||The negatives TO THE COMMUNITY outweigh the benefits TO TOWN GOVERNMENT and the businesses will become the first contact for unhappy visitors, in addition to the cost and hassle to each of us who live and work here. For what benefit?!|
|Extra income for the towns needs
||I believe paid parking is the wrong answer to the parking issue. The parking garage should have been built in the actual downtown area rather than on the outskirts. The current parking garage is not convenient. The shuttle service should run concurrently with the enforcement of paid parking. If the town is forcing me to park at the unused parking garage, then the shuttle needs to run the ENTIRE season. If the shuttle isn't running, then there must not be a parking problem. The downtown hourly workers should not have to pay $2 an hour of their wage to go to work and park near their places of employment. These are students and adults alike that should not have their wages poached for the sake of a money grab by the town. To ask these hourly restaurant and retail workers to walk up to a mile each way to the parking garage after a full day on their feet is unreasonable. Most view paid parking as the town searching for more money. The data used to force this issue did not adequately represent the people it affects the most, the tourists.|
|To encourage people to use our free parking garage and increase revenue for projects. Every mountain town in CO already has this.
||I have always been opposed to paid parking, but I realized it was a done deal when the Town hired a parking expert. I resent being asked for my opinion when a decision has already been made.|
|Raise the barrier to driving downtown & people will use the free parking. I'd like to see a mix of paid parking & 30 minute parking. Let people come & park & pick up quick errands & park in the free garage.||That being said; I feel one of the main reasons that the Town wants paid parking is because their parking garage is under utilized. They have never understood that people want convenience and parking should be close to shopping. Shoppers don't want to lug their purchases around and wait for a shuttle...they often take their purchases back to their vehicle and continue shopping.*|
|Cut down on congestion.
||I believe paid parking will turn potential visitors away from downtown and end up costing the Town tax revenue. Paid parking will not solve our traffic issues, it will merely encourage folks to move on to more accommodating and inviting places to shop...for instance, Gateway or NPVS.|
|Shifting traffic away from the downtown corridor will improve the pedestrian traffic. Pedestrians shop more than frustrated drivers in their cars.||When paid parking was brought up initially; we took a mini vacation to Colorado Springs. Manitou Springs had started paid parking recently. The feedback we received was totally against the paid parking that was instituted there. We were told by several shop owners that the idea was to increase revenue and before the first season was over the Town had to hire an outside entity to handle the parking boondoggle. I did encourage Frank Lancaster to look at their experiences before proceeding. If he did , the decision was made to proceed.|
|I believe it is a necessary action to motivate our visitors and residents to use the free parking garage and increase the parking turnover.
||Just last week we had a customer from Windsor who visits Estes about 5 times a year and said he always spends quite a bit while here. He asked if the Loop and the Paid Parking were still going through and informed us that we were ruining his family's experience and they would not be coming to Estes nearly as often in the future. Yikes! I didn't know how to respond, so I just told him that we were also against those plans.|
|It will encourage increased turnover in the lots downtown and therefore improve the parking situation allowing more people to access downtown while providing additional revenue to maintain our roads.
||So, I've responded to your questions; and no I did not attend any Zoom meetings, but I did give my input when the idea of paid parking was first presented. I feel like business owners' input is dismissed and revenue enhancement for the Town is the #1 priority.|
|We are one of the few towns without paid parking! With our proximity to RMNP and how busy our Town gets ... it is a resource that must be managed. Paid parking will improve the Visitor experience! People expect to pay for parking these days.
||Concerns for employees who need to park for 8-12 hours/day. Concerns for customers who have time limits. Concerns that it may deter people from visiting Estes.
|Improve visitor & residents experience and access to the Downtown business corridor
||It’s a horrible idea. It’s like when bars charge a cover fee. The town will get the consumers money via sales tax, why charge an extra fee to shop here? Also, customers will be constantly checking their watches while shopping. Their mind will be on the meter. It’s horrible for business.*|
|One thing I find in this town is that generally there is a very large contingent that is resistant to any change and dream of an idealized past. Nearly every improvement in town from the river walk to the Bond Park upgrade, to lighting trees has been met with huge resistance until people get used to it and realize what a benefit it is.||It only forces people to shuffle their cars around from slot to slot and raises animosity among the visitors. I saw this reaction in another tourist town that I lived in, and the result was tourism dropped off.
|Peak season parking is a huge issue in town and needs to be managed effectively. This issue is not unique to EP which means learning what works in other cities and towns. Paid parking it the norm in many municipalities and has proven it's worth by reducing traffic congestion and pollution as well as encouraging wellness through walking.
||I understand this will generate more revenue but also more staffing. However, is it a welcoming note to our tourists? We need to encourage fuller use of our new parking garage... which on a positive note, paid parking may accomplish.|
|Ask this is a small town with small town values. Most of us small town murders feel that paid parking is just another stingy money grab. Definitely a hassle and a slap in our face buy a greedy hand. If we need additional Revenue slap it on another sales tax/ tourist tax
(We don’t think they meant to say “murders.”
|The system we have right now is working well. With paid parking we add another layer of cost, policing and more government.|
|We have to do something about the parking challenges. We've opened more parking at the fairgrounds and built a parking garage but people aren't using it. They drive around back and forth looking for parking, clogging the streets and then come into the shops stressed from the experience. I'm hopeful that having more turnover and encouraging people to use the free parking and shuttle will be a good thing. At the very least, we should try it and see if it is helpful.||I am concerned as a downtown business owner that my customers not be limited to the amount of time they are able to stay in a parking space. Many of my customers come for the day, shop, walk, dine and then shop again. I would support paid parking, ONLY if customers could have unlimited times to a space they secure. EG.....return to your vehicle and pay for additional hours. I am not aware of how the metered parking would be set up. I am also hugely impacted by the ability of my staff to secure a parking space whether they might find one, and not be limited only to parking in a certain lot where it may not be convenient for them to walk to work. Many of my staff are older, and walking on ice, for example, is difficult. They park as close to my building as possible. Requiring them to pay for a parking permit to do their job, just doesn't seem right.|
|Paid parking has never been beneficial to any businesses in any studies I myself have have done or any that I have read. If you follow the money, the one that benefits the most is the company that is promoting and installing the paid parking. I understand that they are trying to force people to park in the parking garage. The town built it in the wrong location and it doesn't have enough parking spaces. It will place undue financial strain on business owners that provide free parking. These lots will become overrun by the tourists that don't want to pay for parking. The towing laws in Colorado make it impossible for a private lot owner to enforce any kind of parking restrictions. This has not been considered by the Trustees. Estes Park is famous for short term thinking. They sold the Wendy Gap Water rights they owned and have been purchasing water rights since. They closed Hidden Valley because of their lack of ability to understand marketing. Both of these decisions have extremely negatively impacted the economy of Estes Park and the "Paid Parking" is no different.|
|It will make it difficult for my business. There needs to be sufficient parking prior to going to paid parking.|
|Our businesses are downtown and this will hurt our businesses significantly. The Historic Park Theatre has been hurt significantly this last year with COVID and it is down 80% and people already complain about the price of tickets now add parking fees on top. This will kill the movies at the historic park theatre or make it so we can’t have a movie until after 6:30pm. Locals like the earlier 4pm movies but there is no way they will pay for parking at 2$ an hour. That is an additional $6 for a movie. We don’t need additional challenges bouncing back after COVID. Why is it that with everything going on it seems the town is clearly trying to kill downtown businesses. This does not support downtown business it discourages people from shopping here. For $6 locals will travel to the valley to see a movie or shop at Walmart instead of supporting our home town. The locals don’t need another excuse not to come downtown in the summer months.|
|Taxes are already high enough. Parking is already difficult enough for residents and visitors. The “revenue at all cost” mentality is never a positive for business and the community at large.|
|It disproportionately affects lower wage workers. It is a tax - hidden as a fee. I work and live in Estes Park and my taxes pay for public parking spaces.|
|will make visitors angry|
|Not inclusive to lower income visitors to our community|
|Downtown businesses and their employees must pay to park. Downtown businesses with private parking will be overrun with individuals trying to "beat" the paid parking system. This will cause diminished parking for customers of those businesses and leave the private lot owners very few options, if any (it is not a wise business decision to have a present and future customer towed)|
|That the locals' permit was limited to 30 minutes and employees, business owners and downtown residents must purchase a permit. Most locals pay taxes to Estes Park already and to require them to pay to patronize downtown businesses or events, go to work or park when they go home if free parking isn't available (which most likely will be less available once fee parking is implemented) is going to feel like a penalty to residents. Many people feel that the town caters only to tourists and doesn't consider the impacts on locals. These policies won't help that perception.
(Note that in September the Town Board will vote to increase the local permit to 60 minutes.)
You noted surprises about
- The cost is too high. And the parking price is too high.
- How much the management firm is paid.
- The impact and cost burden on private lot owners.
- The impact of parking costs on merchants and employees.
- No plan for how the revenue will be spent.
- Why you would survey opinions on a decision that’s already made?
That last one is a good point. What is in our sphere of control? We try to assemble the opinions of our members to recommend a solution. This one response moves us in a constructive direction:
I would pose the following questions: 1. How does paid parking enhance the friendliness of Estes Park? 2. Does paid parking deter visitation from people in lower socio-economic classes? 3. Does paid parking add a further burden to our hard-working employees? 4. Does paid parking add greater frustration to elderly people who are not adept with apps and kiosks? 5. According to Time magazine, "Time is money, as they say, and the longer you’ve spent shopping in a store, the more it could be costing you money." We have always been told in retail, the longer a customer stays, the more money they spend. Paid parking has the potential to limit the time customers spend downtown. How is this advantageous to the businesses?
Watch the progress on the blog to stay in touch with the Chamber’s next steps. If you feel this does not capture your point of view, take our mid-season survey here.