Cherry Creek mall plans to start charging for parking

Shoppers of the Cherry Creek Shopping Center might soon have to make their first purchase before ever enter the mall.

staff photo
A parking lot at the Cherry Creek Shopping Center (Forrest Norvell/Flickr)

A parking lot at the Cherry Creek Shopping Center (Forrest Norvell/Flickr)

Shoppers of the Cherry Creek Shopping Center could soon make their first purchase before they ever enter the mall.

Cherry Creek plans to switch to a new parking system that requires shoppers to pay for spots starting in 2017, mall management announced Thursday. Parking costs for Cherry Creek’s garages will reportedly be “among the lowest in the surrounding area.”

Cherry Creek has 5,000 spots within two parking garages and another 800 spaces in surface level lots. The first hour of parking for those spaces will be free and the daily max will be $16, according to the mall.

Those who stay for two hours will be charged $3 for parking. The mall will charge an additional dollar for hour three and an additional $2 each hour after that.

The roughly 3,500 people who work within the Cherry Creek Shopping Center won’t be expected to pay for parking, the mall said in a statement.

Fees will be waived during the Cherry Creek Fresh Markets, Cherry Creek Arts Festival, Cherry Creek Sneak and other community events.

“It’s difficult to say if we lose customers because of this new system. I expect some might be inconvenienced and shop elsewhere,” mall general manager Nick LeMasters told Denverite.

Cherry Creek mall attracts about 16 million annual visitors, LeMasters said. Due to growth in the Cherry Creek neighborhood, the shopping center is also drawing more non-customers using its parking. To combat that trend the mall is investing in a “state-of-the-art Smart Parking system.”

As part of the system, all parking decks and surface lots will be transitioned to a paid parking system. The majority of the work is expected to be completed before the end of the year with parking fees starting in January.

The new system’s “advanced wayfinding technology” should make it easy for drivers to find a spot. The mall declined to say how much the “significant investment” is expected to cost.

Business & data reporter Adrian D. Garcia can be reached via email at agarcia@denverite.com or twitter.com/adriandgarcia.

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