NewsCovering Colorado


Another parking lot in Manitou Springs, displaced residents living at Dillon Motel

About 15 people called the motel home, claiming short notice to vacate
Posted at 6:16 PM, Nov 27, 2023
and last updated 2024-01-10 18:57:07-05

COLORADO SPRINGS — The city of Manitou Springs bought the Dillon Motel to convert into another parking lot. It sits on Manitou Avenue near the Highway 24 interchange.

About 15 people called the motel home.

Kevin McClure lived there for three years. He said he was told to vacate in less than 30 days. "It was just unreal."

Tenants Rights rules in Colorado say that a 90-written notice is required for renters who have been in their home for a year or longer.

"The city could've came out and say, 'hey guys we are purchasing the property, you have so much time to figure out a new place or where to go or what to do,' city never did," said McClure.

Manitou Springs spokesperson, Alex Trefry, said it's on the landlord to warn tenants to vacate, not the city.

"The city's role is extremely limited, we cannot interact with tenants in that nature as a purchaser," said Trefry.

I called the landlord to ask about the tenant's claims. His response? No comment.

"The city did allow extra time for the property owner to do whatever business they needed to conduct," said Trefry.

The hope is that people will use the new lot, rather than parking illegally in neighborhoods when other lots are full.

As much of a headache moving caused McClure, he said he grew up in Manitou Springs and knows more parking is needed.

"Parking in Manitou is unreal," said McClure. "With this [parking lot] coming out, hopefully it helps the parking situation."

The Dillon Motel was purchased for $880,000 from the City’s Mobility & Parking Enterprise Fund. The fund gets money from paid parking.

A man who lives in Manitou Springs said tourists tend to park in neighborhoods when lots get full.

"Parking in neighborhoods is not encouraged. It's disrespectful for the locals, parking is at a premium for everybody including locals," said Mike Casey.

Casey said he's lived in the city for 35 years and parking is always a nightmare, especially during warmer months. "I got a season pass to the parking lot across from my business and during the summer, if I'm not there before about 11 o'clock, I'm on the hunt like everybody else."

A tourist visiting from New Hampshire was actually surprised he found a parking spot. "I can imagine this is a battle down here on a nice summer day," said Michael Campbell.

The city is trying to reduce crowding by lowering prices in empty lots to encourage more people to park in less busy areas.

"Parking capacity during our peak season, especially the summer season, mid-summer is sometimes over 100% which means people are parking where they shouldn't be," said the city's spokesperson Alex Trefry.

Officials anticipate a record year for tourism since the pandemic, based on its Camping and Lodging tax revenues.

"Last year we got about $305,000 in Camping and Lodging taxes, and this year is estimated to have $315,000," said Trefry.

Locals encourage tourists to take a bus or ride a bike into town.

"The parking scenario is Manitou's number one problem, I think," said Casey. "It's not so much that's Manitou's changed but it's getting loved to death."

The city council is starting negotiations to buy the Dillon Motel for parking, but it's unclear if a deal will be made any time soon. News5 will keep you updated on the project.