SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — For more than 30 years downtown shoppers in Sioux Falls have enjoyed free parking at nights and on weekends, but that could be changing, mainly because downtown is changing.
Free parking at night and on weekends in downtown Sioux Falls could soon expire.
Two years ago, downtown business owners heard from a consultant who changed their way of thinking.
“If you get parking turnover 12-15 per space a day each year that could be hundreds of thousands of dollars for retailers in terms of profit,” Downtown Sioux Falls president Joe Batcheller said.
But that turnover hasn’t been happening when its free to park.
“It is a bit of an issue, particularly in evenings and weekends, someone can come and park at 5 p.m. on Friday and leave their car there until Monday morning, and if that’s right in front of a business that hurts their bottom line,” Batcheller said.
So, now business owners are looking at several options to generate that turnover.
Chris Hanmer, who owns CH Patisserie, wants to hear more of the proposal. He says it could be a sweet deal.
“I think I’m a proponent in continuing to move the dialogue forward and I think moving that dialogue forward you need to look at, based on good evidence from other cities of our size, what helps generate the overall experience,” Hanmer said.
And with more people now living and shopping downtown, it’s an issue the city wants to deal with now, because for business owners, who are potentially losing thousands of dollars, the meter is ticking.
Don’t forget about the public parking ramps, they are free after hours.
In fact, Downtown Sioux Falls is encouraging people to use them tomorrow night for First Friday.