COLORADO SPRINGS -
The City of Colorado Springs and Downtown merchants want shoppers to know about some "lucky" parking meters that could give you some extra spending money this year. As part of a new promotion, drivers who find one of the free meters Downtown or in Old Colorado City are invited to take a selfie and share it on the City's social media sites. Doing so enters you into a monthly drawing for a free $25 gift card valid at all of the participating Downtown shops and restaurants.
The City began giving people a free place to park with the lucky meter program three years ago. Parking enforcement officers change the location of the three downtown meters and the Old Colorado City meter every day. But not enough people seem to know about them.
Shianna Ray was headed to the El Paso County Judicial Building when she happened to find one of the meters.
"I wasn't expecting that, that's for sure," she said.
Joe Cruz came Downtown for sushi with a friend and didn't realize he'd forgot to pay the meter.
"Just pulled in, grabbed a bite to eat and completely forgot," he said. " Just got lucky."
Greg Warnke, Parking Administrator for the City of Colorado Springs, hopes the social media contest will change that.
"If you find one of the free meters and take a selfie and Facebook it on the City of Colorado Springs website, you'll be automatically registered to win a $25 gift card for downtown businesses," Warnke said.
Sharing the location of a lucky meter not only helps spread the word about the free parking spaces, it also creates interest in the shops downtown.
"We've got a great downtown, a lot of things to see, a lot of businesses and so forth," Warnke added. "It's just a small way of promoting downtown."