Overall Affordability: Parking Plays a Part

By: Skylar Colclazier

You’re relocating or starting a business. What costs should be considered?

Last week, a colleague and I left the office especially early for a Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce event. Why so early? To ensure we found a place to park. As Colorado native, I’ve had to drive Downtown for various reasons: from attending events and classes to enjoying dinner with friends.

I don’t remember it being such a nuisance to find parking five years ago as it was last week.

The Denver Post reports that, “In the past five years, the city of Denver has seen a 27 percent increase in revenue from payments for meter time and 53 percent increase in collections from all types of parking citations” (Galvan, 2014).OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

What’s changed? There’s a reported increase in parking meters as well as in Denver’s population. While the increase creates a perennial headache for individuals visiting Downtown, I was curious, What’s the effect on Downtown businesses and their employees?

Parking expenses may seem insignificant at first glance, but it quickly adds up. Quite a few parking lots in Downtown Denver charge $10/day. Ten dollars may only be two Starbucks beverages, but when taken further it equates to $200-250/month. That’s a car payment. One step further and the cost of parking in that $10/day lot becomes a $2600/year expense. There are other things I’d rather spend $2600/year on, maybe a nice all-inclusive vacation.

While I work in Denver, I do not work Downtown and consider myself lucky to not have a parking expense. If I did have to pay, would I still work where I do?

For businesses relocating to Colorado, “cost” and “access/transit” are top concerns. Parking influences cost of doing business and employee happiness. If you’re looking at doing business or working in Denver, it may be a good time to check out locations that have low to no-cost parking options. Stapleton offers that advantage.

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