SALT LAKE CITY — Downtown Salt Lake City will no longer provide free metered parking during the holiday season. However, the city is still expecting record crowds.
Small business owners in the downtown area say they liked having the free holiday parking in the past, but they still feel optimistic that a lot of people will be coming downtown.
Marci Rasmussen is decorating her "Especially For You Flowers" store on broadway. And while she like free metered holiday parking for customers, she doesn't think the lack of it will keep people away.
"Downtown has so much to offer, so many unique shops," Rasmussen said.
With the new City Creek Center open and the Gateway adding new stores, there is going to be a large holiday market, which the Downtown Alliance says is going to draw some big crowds. To help get people around without them having to park multiple times, Jason Mathis, director of Downtown Alliance said they will be running free trolley cars, or the "Jingle Bus," as they're calling it, downtown.
"Parking is something that is sort of an annoyance, and we have to do, but with so much going on downtown we're still going to see record crowds in the area," Mathis said.
The "Jingle Bus" will make stops at the Gallivan Plaza, Temple Square, City Creek Center and the Gateway.
Mathis also said they'll be hiring off-duty officers to help get traffic around on busy nights.
The malls offer free parking for the first hour, and some businesses with private parking garages will be offering free evening parking. To find out more about downtown parking and to learn how to use the new meters, visit parkingslc.com.