COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The City of Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department and the Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center are accepting applications for commercial use permits for Garden of the Gods Park, which will be effective starting Jan. 1, 2021. The park, which welcomes more than 4 million visitors a year, remains free and open to visiting members of the public.
“We’d like to thank the businesses and organizations that, even in a difficult year, supported the long-term stewardship and preservation of Garden of the Gods Park by participating in the commercial use permit program,” said Karen Palus, parks director. “The most visited park in our system, it takes more than $1 million a year to maintain and operate Garden of the Gods, with services like trail maintenance, infrastructure projects, trash and snow removal, restroom cleanings, interpretive programs and more. This permit is just one of the ways those efforts are funded.”
Launched in 2020, the commercial use permit has helped manage commercial activities in the park, improved communication with commercial operators and is providing additional oversight, resource management and preservation of Garden of the Gods Park, a National Natural Landmark owned by the City of Colorado Springs. In 2020, 31 permits were issued and $5,887 was collected. These funds will be used on natural resource stewardship and maintenance efforts in 2021.
Single and multi-use permit options, that are valid for a calendar year, are available for entities that conduct commercial activities that provide goods, services or activities to the public using Garden of the Gods Park. With the exception of commercial, film and/or professional photography and special events, this permit is required for all commercial activity conducted in the park. Consideration of including professional photography in this permit has been tabled and photographers – of any kind – do not need to apply for the Garden of the Gods commercial use permit.
The following list provides examples of activities that must apply for a commercial use permit:
- Guided rock climbing
- Guided talks, hikes and walking tours
- Guided mountain biking, road cycling and e-assist bicycle tours
- Commercial bus or vehicle tours
- Step-on tour guides
- Guided hiking and walking tours with any type of animal (llama, wolves, dogs, etc.)
- Art and photography workshops
- Exercise/yoga classes
- Day camps and summer camps
For more information on this permit, including the cost structure and application, visit GardenOfGods.com/Permits.