COLORADO SPRINGS – A sign on the pavilion at Bancroft Park says “reservation only”. It is a new rule that is part of broader changes at the park in Old Colorado City.
It is using a “broad brush” to deal with other issues, according to Colorado Springs Parks Maintenance Manager, Kurt Schroeder. “Quite honestly it applies to everybody who may want to use that pavilion and it’s the best way and really the only way that we have in order to resolve the issues that we’re trying to resolve.”
Many changes in the park are repercussions from a crime on a cold and snowy night early in 2017. An arson fire in the band shell caused tens of thousands of dollars in damage. Nearby business owners and homeowners who were already concerned about the homeless and other groups loitering in the park, pushed for change. The reservation system give the option of asking people to leave the pavilion who do not have reason for spending extended time there. There are smaller spaces with tables and benches in other parts of the park available, first come first served.
This is not a first in the city. There are numerous other parks like America the Beautiful and the new John Venezia Park up in Briargate with reservation only facilities.