DENVER — Denver City Council approved an increase in admission prices to visit the Denver Botanic Gardens on Monday evening.
This is the first time the Botanic Gardens has raised its ticket prices in 10 years. Council also voted to eliminate parking fees at the Gardens.
Around 7:30 p.m., city council voted and approved the change, with one member opposed.
Currently, a ticket costs:
· $12.50 for an adult
· $9 for a student
· $11.50 for senior citizens
· $11 for a child 4-15 years old
· Children 4 years old and younger are admitted for free
Under this new bill, the fees will increase to:
· $15 for an adult
· $11 for a student
· $9.50 for senior citizens
· $9 for a child 3-15 years old
· Children 3 years old and younger are admitted for free
The increase in fees will help the Botanic Gardens pay off its debt after building a new parking garage.
Congressman Chris Hinds — who represents District 10 and is a strong proponent for Denver taking bold steps against climate change — voted against the change. He said he supports the Gardens, but doesn’t like that the city is continuing to encourage more drivers to hit the road by making parking at the Gardens free, particularly as the city tries to move toward reducing the number of drivers on the roads.
Councilman Jolon Clark, who represents district 7 and supported the change, said he respects Hinds's push against climate change, but he doesn’t believe this is the right instance to take a stand on that issue.
“I believe that the impact here of increasing the cost of parking before we have done what we need to now — which is to double down and triple down on building biking infrastructure and pedestrian infrastructure and safe crossings to get to these places — will only create a bigger burden and more barriers for people, for low-income folks, for folks in my district ... to get there safely," he said.
Until the city can create a safe way for residents to get to work, school, grocery stores and other places, this is the wrong place to try to reduce the number of drivers, he said.
“This is a very modest and reasonable ask that is honestly probably the easiest ask that we get on fees from places that charge fees,” he said. “So, I am happy to support this tonight.”
He also said that the Gardens have shown that they are good stewards for not only plants and the planet, but Denver residents' dollars, by not raising prices for 10 years.