COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Shopping and dining in Manitou Springs is about to get pricier. The city will soon be charging you to park downtown and along parts of Ruxton avenue.
Right now, drivers can stay for up to three hours for free. But starting on Monday, May 13, a new pay-to-park system will be in place.
Drivers will be charged by the hour and must pay in advance at a kiosk. Users will be able to stay for several hours and will be able to pay online to extend their stay.
The fees start at $1 per hour and will go up depending on how long you stay. The daily maximum is $28 or 12 hours.
Longtime Manitou Springs business owner Fred Darpino says parking is the biggest drawback of the area. He said he already loses business because people can't find spots to park and worries he won't get as many new customers with the new pay system.
"The turn around is the most important thing. People come to town and it's fine to run around but for businesses you want them to spend a little money. If they are parked for six hours and walk around it is not helping business community," said Darpino.
The city will give drivers a couple weeks to get used to the new system before they start handing out tickets.
The city is working to come up with residential parking permits for neighborhoods on Ruxton Avenue and the adjacent streets.