Downtown Parking Perks program launched |

Downtown Parking Perks program launched

John StroudPost Independent StaffGlenwood Springs, Colorado CO

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – Parking in one of the alternative downtown parking lots, or riding a bike instead of driving to work during the downtown construction projects could be good as gold, or at least same as cash.The city of Glenwood Springs, in cooperation with the Downtown Partnership and the Downtown Development Authority, has officially launched the Downtown Parking Perks program.The new incentive program coincides with groundbreaking last week on a new public parking structure at Ninth and Cooper, and a new two-story building to be shared by the Glenwood Springs Branch Library and Colorado Mountain College, located at Eighth and Cooper. Construction is expected to continue until early fall 2013.Parking Perks will reward commuters who park in the designated all-day lots on the west side of downtown, or commute by bicycle during the construction period.The city put up $13,000 to make prizes available in the form of Parking Perks tokens, which are redeemable at participating downtown businesses.”The goal is to keep the two-hour parking available for visitors and shoppers to the downtown, and to reinvest back into the businesses that are most impacted by the construction process,” Tom Fleming, director of the Glenwood Springs Downtown Partnership, said in a press release.A total of five prizes worth $500 each, 30 $250 prizes and about 300 $10 prizes will be awarded throughout the promotion, he said.Individuals can voluntarily register their car or bike to be part of the Parking Perks promotion at doing so, participants agree to either park their vehicle in one of the three alternative parking lots – located at 10th and School streets, on Eighth Street west of City Hall, and on Seventh Street near the railroad overpass – or to stow their bike at one of three dozen identified bike racks in the downtown area.The website includes a parking map showing the parking lot locations and identified bike racks, along with a list of participating businesses, registration forms and official rules.Participants can also obtain free, numbered bike tags at the Glenwood Springs Branch Library, Colorado Mountain College (Central Services and Blake Avenue locations), Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association, Glenwood Springs Post Independent and City Hall.By opting in, winners also agree to have their name and photo publicized on the website and in the Glenwood Springs Post Independent.Drawings will be done for the larger prizes, while the $10 prizes will be awarded randomly by volunteers who will be at the parking lots and around bike racks on certain mornings and afternoons.Select service businesses and lodges are also eligible to participate. Additional businesses are expected to join up as the program gains momentum.Businesses can redeem the tokens they collect from the winners at Glenwood Springs City Hall for reimbursement.The dual construction projects represent a $17 million public investment. Once completed, the projects will add 115 new parking spaces in the downtown area.”As a community, we are fortunate to be in the position to make this infrastructure investment in Glenwood Springs,” Downtown Development Authority Executive Director Leslie Bethel said. “The long-term gain from the projects will benefit downtown vitality for decades to come.”What we’re seeing is that businesses, employees and local residents are willing to go through the short-term inconvenience of construction for all the benefits of the end result,” she said.Also involved in developing the Parking Perks program were Glenwood Springs City Manager Jeff Hecksel, city Transportation Manager Rosa Silver, and marketing consultant Kate Collins of Write Brain West Inc.

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