The Chamber met with the Town, The Car Park and Visit Estes Park before Christmas to discuss how staff and stakeholders from each organization can partner to address the list of requests for 2022 paid parking operational improvements that the Chamber submitted to the Town Board of Trustees.
The following chart represents the result of a group exercise to determine the priority of each item to the business community (guided mostly from input by the Chamber) and the ease of execution (guided mostly by Town and The Car Park).
Chamber priorities for 2022 paid parking program operational improvements and suggested uses for paid parking revenue
Priority for business
Ease of execution
Reduced price for employee parking permits
(Member feedback indicates a high priority on the proximity of parking for late night shifts, reduced pricing for lower wage earners and permit transferability/management options based on employee turnover.)
Unified downtown parking signage (The Chamber believes the burden of signage in public and private lots is the responsibility of the Town. Unified signage also creates a better brand impression and experience for visitors.)
Reduced price permits for Front Range shoppers and special permits for lodging customers
(The option to present a voucher or reduced permit to customers helps our lodging and retail members to be the hero in helping assuage discontent among some visitors with the new addition of paid parking in town.)
Safe evening transportation and walking paths
(These are really two separate requests. The Town has offered late shuttles in the past and the usage was low, so we are looking for transportation options that might more resemble a ride share.
The walking path issue is related to two things - wildlife occupying the end of the tunnel near the Visitor Center and walking path lighting past the water wheel on the West End. Lighting in the tunnel has already been completed, but West End lighting is a larger project."
Third party guest and stakeholder survey
(If you followed the Chamber report to the Town Board, our members have complete multiple forms of surveys to help the Town Board understand the impact of paid parking on business. It became clear that survey responses vary based on who is asking the question, so the Chamber asked the Town to invest in a third party survey that would adequately capture the heart of the customer and our stakeholders from a neutral perspective. We propose this survey for mid-summer 2022.)
Invest paid parking revenue in the construction of a parking structure downtown
(One of the questions in our Downtown Alliance meetings was how the revenue was being spent. The plan approved by the Town Board in 2018 listed an additional parking structure as Phase 4 of the approved plan, following the expansion of paid parking into more downtown lots. The Chamber asked the Town to consider moving Phase 4 ahead of
Phase 3 with additional funding from other sources.)
The Chamber plans to involve the business community in the review and implementation of these requests, starting with our Downtown Alliance meeting on Tuesday, January 25. If you have a strong opinion about the priority of these initiatives (determined jointly by representatives from the Chamber and Visit Estes Park) please plan to attend this meeting or sound in on the conversation using the comment feature on this page.
Watch this blog for updates after the January 25 meeting.