Stanley Marketplace Launches New Parking Rules

BY Linnea Covington

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When the Stanley Marketplace opened at the end of 2016, it came with plenty of parking surrounding the venue. However, as more apartment buildings have popped up around the popular food, drink and shopping spot, often without providing residents their own parking areas, the spaces availabe in Stanley’s big lot have dwindled. The solution, timed, three-hour free parking with a pay structure and possible vouchers after. 

“Over time Stanley has become more and more popular and we have heard, and of course witnessed ourselves, that parking can be a real headache,” said Allyson Fredeen, general manager of Stanley Marketplace, noting a lot of the issue are due to the major development happening in the two block radius of the venue. “What we have seen is a increase of people long-term parking, making it harder for people patronising Stanley.”

The marketplace boasts 400 parking spots, with an extra 75, which will be reclaimed by a development this fall. Inside, around 50 business operate, bringing in people for a meal, a beer, a haircut, to get knives sharpened, buy books, and more. On the food side alone Boychik, Sweet Cow, Chi Lin Asian Eatery, Denver Biscuit Co., and more reside. In order to cut back on the non-customer parking, management has decided to implement the three-hour free, and $3 per hour after that time structure. 

parking lot with blue poles and parking gate
On April 2 the Stanley Marketplace will launch a timed and paid parking program. | Photo by Stanley Marketplace

“I think it’s great, and three hours is a long time to spend at a place,” said Rayme Rossello, owner of Comida inside Stanley Marketplace. “Past the three hours you spend $3 [per hour] and it seems like a bargain, I am in full support.” 

The overall goal, added Fredeen is to create more turnover in the parking lot and give people the chance to get a good spot quickly. If you’ve been to the Stanley Marketplace recently, you may have found it takes a long time to get a space. Or, you end up parking far away, outside the boundaries of the venue and walking 10 minutes or so to get to there.

This aspect, said Caroline Glover, chef and owner of Annette and Traveling Mercies, both in the marketplace, actually could help the overall vibe of a night out. 

“Parking can set a precedent for how your meal starts,” she said. “If you cant find parking for 15 or 20 minutes, you escalate the stress [of making it in time for a reservation]. 

Though, she added, she wishes parking had been better thought of while the building out the 140,000-square-foot venue. 

four people sitting at table with wine glasses
Caroline Glover and her team at Traveling Mercies might benefit from the new parking rules. | Photo by Theo Stroomer

For employees of the businesses, they have a separate, completely free lot right outside the normal area. They, and patrons of the marketplace, can also park for free along the surrounding streets. More bike racks are planned too, eschewing the idea of parking altogether. For those leaving late at night, security guards are on hand to walk anyone to their car, even if they are outside the parking lot.

“Overall, we felt three hours was fair, and our data shows us the average visitor spends 86 minutes [here],” said Fredeen. “We feel like you can do a lot of Stanley activities, whether that’s getting a drink and going shopping, or coming to an event and staying for lunch.”

Fredeen expects some confusion and grumbling from both patrons and staff. In the end, she said, the intent centers on the positive and people will get used to it. Plus, it still costs way less and is more convenient than parking downtown or in Cherry Creek. And, if you decide you’re not able to drive home for any reason, the hourly fee caps at $25.

“I don’t think $3 should turn anyone inside out,” added Rossello over the phone. “But, people have all these things they like to talk about, and this could be one of those things.” 

But hopefully, when the program goes live on April 2, it will make the naysayers happy when they can easily find a place to park.

Visit the Stanley Marketplace daily starting at 7 a.m., and until 9 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday, and until 10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. 2501 Dallas St., Aurora, stanleymarketplace.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Linnea Covington

Linnea Covington is the managing editor of DiningOut. She comes to us with a long background in food, restaurant and drinks journalism. Over the last two decades she’s written for tons of publications including Denver Post, Washington Post, Forbes Travel Guide, 5280 Magazine, New York Magazine, New York Times, Time Out New York and more.

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