BRECKENRIDGE - At Breckenridge Town Hall, Mayor Eric Mamula has been talking a lot about parking.
He's got a good reason; drive into town and you’ll have a hard time finding a place to park just about any time of year.
Starting Dec. 1, a big change will be rolling into town.
Breckenridge will end free parking along core streets. Instead, it will charge from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. to park along several side streets.
“Main Street, Ridge Street and what we call the interior lots,” Mamula said.
The first hour will be 50 cents, the second hour will be $1 and the third hour will be $1.50. From there, the price to park will rise significantly.
“By the time you get into your fourth or fifth hour, it will get expensive to park,” Mamula said.
The plan is to keep skiers and employees working downtown from parking there all day. This will hopefully free up spaces along streets that right now are always packed.
“We’re looking at pricing the parking so we get an 85 percent fill rate, so there are constantly a few places per block." Mamula said. "That [way], when you drive into town to go shopping or eat at a restauran, you will find a space."
People who don’t want to pay can park further from downtown and take a shuttle.
Those who don’t mind paying can use pay stations or a new app called Passport Parking.
"It’s great! You park, open the app, put in your license plate number and credit card number and you can add time from the app,” Mamula said.
While charging to park will probably be hardest on locals who work in the core of Breckenridge, Mamula says down the road it will be good for business in a tourist town that’s got the good fortune of having lots of tourist.
“It’s a good problem to have,” Mamula said.
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