One of Denver’s premier neighborhoods, Cherry Creek attracts visitors from around the city and has become a famed spot for visitors and new residents to spend sunny weekend afternoons and evenings out.
The neighborhood is filled with some of Denver’s finest real estate, with beautiful homes, large yards, and gated neighborhoods. Cherry Creek North’s streets are lined with boutiques and fine dining, coffee shops, art galleries, and spots to grab classy cocktails after work. It’s also home to Madison & Company’s luxury real estate office, situated on 2nd and Milwaukee.
The center of it all is the Cherry Creek Shopping Center, the Rocky Mountain region’s finest shopping. Famed by its size and plethora of unique, high-end shopping opportunities, the Cherry Creek Shopping Center is a destination for many who enjoy shopping as a leisure activity.
Recently the mall announced their plan to switch to a paid parking format in January of 2017. This marks the first time in the history of the mall that parking will not be complimentary.
Due to the increasing population of Denver, and thus influx of visitors both to the mall and to the surrounding Cherry Creek North shopping and restaurant area, employees and visitors to the mall have begun to experience difficulties finding parking. Increased development in Cherry Creek North has prompted the change.
The mall receives over 16 million visitors annually, and the Cherry Creek Shopping Center parking garages account for around 70% of the parking in the entire area. This has put pressure on the mall to ensure parking for their visitors, leading to the decision to switch to a paid parking format. The general manager of the shopping center, Nick LeMasters, said the parking shortage has begun to create an issue for employees and paying customers.
“The center’s lots are heavily used by customers, but also by those not shopping at the center,” LeMasters said in a statement. “Our top priority is to make sure our customers have the best possible experience when they visit. This includes having easy access to parking and entrance to the mall, so the implementation of this parking program became essential.”
Customers will be able to pay for parking with cash, credit or debit cards at around 30 kiosks located outside the mall. Visitors will receive a ticket when they enter the parking lots and the first hour of parking will be free. The daily maximum will be $16, with the second hour will costing $3, the third $1, and addition hours $2 per hour until the daily maximum is reached.
Retailers can choose to provide parking for their customers, as the AMC movie theater intends to do. Employees will always park for free, and parking costs will be waived during certain events, like the Cherry Creek Sneak or the Cherry Creek Fresh Markets.
The mall will be using the Smart Parking program, which will include features that alert visitors to which spots are open and digitally direct drivers to those locations. Kiosks can also help visitors locate their cars. The days of wandering around a parking garage looking for one’s car are over!
“Chances are, this is going to be seen a year from now as something that was really beneficial,” International Parking Institute spokesman Casey Jones said. “Parking systems cost money, but they’re critically important to make sure access is managed.”
It’ll take time to grow accustomed to the new system, but as visitors and customers get used to the new parking format, the mall believes it will ultimately provide a more enjoyable shopping experience.