A new parking garage has added more than 300 new parking spaces to Old Town Fort Collins.
Of the 323 parking spaces in the new Firehouse Alley garage between Walnut Street and Jefferson Street, 216 are open to the public. The others are reserved for guests of the adjoining Elizabeth Hotel, which opened this week.
The garage opened to the public on Thursday.
Parking in the new garage is more expensive than in the city’s other two parking lots, but drivers can power the meter with a smartphone app called FC Parking. Parking costs $ 1.50 an hour – 50 cents more per hour than the other two garages in the Old Town – and the first hour is not free, unlike other structures.
The parking spaces in the Firehouse Alley garage have sensors that can monitor when someone is parked there and for how long. Drivers pay in advance at a kiosk and can add time through the parking app.
“It’s really important to us to make parking as easy as possible,” said Craig Dubin, director of communications and administration at Transfort, in a press release.
The $ 12 million parking structure was paid for through a public-private partnership between the city, the Downtown Development Authority and the hotel.
For people looking to save on parking, there’s good news. The city has made parking free at the three garages in the Old City on Saturdays and Sundays for the rest of the year.
Fort Collins has been working to add additional parking spaces to the downtown area since 2013, when city council approved the parking plan for the downtown and surrounding areas. This plan provided for the addition of 1,500 parking spaces in the old town and the increase in infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists.
Alicia Stice covers transportation and the latest news for The Coloradoan. Follow her on twitter @AliciaStice.
Correction: This story has been updated to reflect that the parking lot opened on Thursday.