Off limits: Parking spots reserved for new hotel
Downtown shoppers looking for on-street parking won’t be allowed to do so in front of a new hotel that recently opened there, at least not at certain times.
That’s because the city installed signs around the new SpringHill Suites Hotel, 236 Main St., reserving the spots for hotel guests instead.
Jodi Romero, Grand Junction’s financial operations manager, said the city did that to augment parking for the new hotel, which is owned by Kevin and Steve Reimer. The brothers also own the Hampton Inn and Main Street Suites that are located across Main Street from the new hotel.
The free parking spaces come despite the city’s waiving last year of $240,700 in transportation capacity payments from the hotel. Those fees are used to help pay for improvements to the city’s transportation system to offset increased traffic generated by new development.
“We consider that project to be unique in terms of infrastructure and the improvements that have been made along with that project,” Romero said. “The downtown area is what we consider a shared-use area. Oftentimes, when businesses move downtown or a restaurant moves into a property that wasn’t previously a restaurant, they have more parking needs than other types of operations.”
In the case of the hotel, the city agreed to reserve six spots on Main Street and seven around the corner on Third Avenue for hotel guests, but only from 4:30 p.m. until 10 a.m.
Otherwise, the spots are available to anyone. Parking on Main Street is free during the day, but limited to two hours. On-street parking elsewhere downtown is metered during the work week, but free from 4:30 p.m. to 8 a.m.
Romero said hotel guests are only supposed to use the street spaces when the hotel’s parking lots are full, but cars with hotel parking passes were parked there anyway on Wednesday.
The new hotel, which doesn’t charge its guests for parking, built a 54-space lot in the back. Hotel guests are allowed to park there or in the 102-space lot behind Main Street Suites. The Hampton also has a 29-space covered garage available to its guests.
There are 260 rooms in the three hotels.
Romero said she was dismayed to learn that some hotel guests were parking on the street when the hotel lots were nearly empty, saying the city and the hotels are still ironing out enforcement issues over the deal.
She also said the city is to make some changes to the new signs because they contradict each other. Although one sign says the spots are reserved for guests until 10 a.m., another indicates anyone can park there starting at 8 a.m.