Park Rental Policy Update

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Project Overview

Over the last five years, and with community changes following COVID-19, Aspen’s parks and open spaces have seen a rise in usage. This has increased the frequency of weddings, large scale events, catered picnics, and larger fitness activities in Aspen’s parks. These increases in frequency of complex, high impact events tax the physical and staff resources of parks, and can affect the experience of other park rentals, as well as broader community members.

The project will review and revise the existing sections of Municipal Code related to Park Rentals, as well as adopt a new Park Rental Policy, and update the Special Event Policy.



Community Outreach

The City of Aspen Parks and Recreation staff would like to take this opportunity to engage the community as we re-examine the programmed rental of parks and open spaces to ensure community access and to best maintain the vibrant integrity of these assets. The engagement strategy will solicit input from various stakeholders and the community at-large to determine what community values, such as environmental sustainability, financial impacts, and community access best align with the City’s goals and the communities interests.

Please join us for an Open House on Thursday, February 9 from 4-6pm at Council Chambers in City Hall to learn more.



Defining Rentals and Events:


What is a Park Rental?

Proposed definition of Park Rental:

Any organized gathering of more than 25 people and less than 125 people that utilizes a park space for athletics, fitness, educational offering, picnics, parties, small gatherings, or other activities.


What is a Special Event?

Generally speaking, special events bring a group of people together in one or more locations for a limited period of time for a particular activity. A special event is defined as any enterprise or activity held upon public property (or impacting public property) for a limited period of time, which is open to the public, for which any of the following is true; City expenditures are contemplated or deemed necessary by the City to maintain public health, safety and welfare; the request is for use of public property; impacts on the site or surrounding area will occur (including but not limited to visual, noise or environmental impacts).

Concerts, sporting events, parades, and outdoor art shows are all examples of special events. “Impacts to public property” include, but are not limited to essential public services, such as: emergency services, fire, police, transportation, parks, sidewalks or roads.


Informal Gatherings:

If someone would like to use the park for a small picnic or other informal gathering of less than 25 people, this is allowed without a permit and free of charge*.

(*Other Park Rental regulations or municipal code rules may still apply)

This does not apply to commercial Rentals such as fitness classes or catered picnics.


Commercial Rental

Proposed definition of Commercial Rental:

Any rental of a park that results in the exchange of money or financial donation. Activities include but are not limited to: fitness classes, yoga, personal training, catered picnics, or outdoor markets. Commercial rental is allowed as long as it meets the park rental definition and policy, and is subject to an additional (proposed) commercial fee of $25/day.


Park Rental Duration

Proposed duration limits:

Staff propose that park rental permits shall be limited to a maximum of 4 hours.


Advance Booking

Proposed advance booking limit:

Staff propose that park rental permits shall be issued no greater than 90 days in advance of the event.


Field Preparation for Athletics:

The City will continue to maintain athletic fields as a safe and functional platform for community athletics.

Additional painting and preparation require significant staff time and supply cost beyond the normal upkeep of the City’s parks system. In some cases, work such as painting soccer field lines can demand several hours of staff time. In order to offset the financial cost of this work, staff are proposing the following additional fee for field preparation.

Proposed field prep fee:

$100 initial lining of field for season

$45 for any additional request for re-lining and preparation

Examples include: Lining a field for a game or practice or infield preparation for a softball or baseball.

Examples above of Park Rentals.

Project Overview

Over the last five years, and with community changes following COVID-19, Aspen’s parks and open spaces have seen a rise in usage. This has increased the frequency of weddings, large scale events, catered picnics, and larger fitness activities in Aspen’s parks. These increases in frequency of complex, high impact events tax the physical and staff resources of parks, and can affect the experience of other park rentals, as well as broader community members.

The project will review and revise the existing sections of Municipal Code related to Park Rentals, as well as adopt a new Park Rental Policy, and update the Special Event Policy.



Community Outreach

The City of Aspen Parks and Recreation staff would like to take this opportunity to engage the community as we re-examine the programmed rental of parks and open spaces to ensure community access and to best maintain the vibrant integrity of these assets. The engagement strategy will solicit input from various stakeholders and the community at-large to determine what community values, such as environmental sustainability, financial impacts, and community access best align with the City’s goals and the communities interests.

Please join us for an Open House on Thursday, February 9 from 4-6pm at Council Chambers in City Hall to learn more.



Defining Rentals and Events:


What is a Park Rental?

Proposed definition of Park Rental:

Any organized gathering of more than 25 people and less than 125 people that utilizes a park space for athletics, fitness, educational offering, picnics, parties, small gatherings, or other activities.


What is a Special Event?

Generally speaking, special events bring a group of people together in one or more locations for a limited period of time for a particular activity. A special event is defined as any enterprise or activity held upon public property (or impacting public property) for a limited period of time, which is open to the public, for which any of the following is true; City expenditures are contemplated or deemed necessary by the City to maintain public health, safety and welfare; the request is for use of public property; impacts on the site or surrounding area will occur (including but not limited to visual, noise or environmental impacts).

Concerts, sporting events, parades, and outdoor art shows are all examples of special events. “Impacts to public property” include, but are not limited to essential public services, such as: emergency services, fire, police, transportation, parks, sidewalks or roads.


Informal Gatherings:

If someone would like to use the park for a small picnic or other informal gathering of less than 25 people, this is allowed without a permit and free of charge*.

(*Other Park Rental regulations or municipal code rules may still apply)

This does not apply to commercial Rentals such as fitness classes or catered picnics.


Commercial Rental

Proposed definition of Commercial Rental:

Any rental of a park that results in the exchange of money or financial donation. Activities include but are not limited to: fitness classes, yoga, personal training, catered picnics, or outdoor markets. Commercial rental is allowed as long as it meets the park rental definition and policy, and is subject to an additional (proposed) commercial fee of $25/day.


Park Rental Duration

Proposed duration limits:

Staff propose that park rental permits shall be limited to a maximum of 4 hours.


Advance Booking

Proposed advance booking limit:

Staff propose that park rental permits shall be issued no greater than 90 days in advance of the event.


Field Preparation for Athletics:

The City will continue to maintain athletic fields as a safe and functional platform for community athletics.

Additional painting and preparation require significant staff time and supply cost beyond the normal upkeep of the City’s parks system. In some cases, work such as painting soccer field lines can demand several hours of staff time. In order to offset the financial cost of this work, staff are proposing the following additional fee for field preparation.

Proposed field prep fee:

$100 initial lining of field for season

$45 for any additional request for re-lining and preparation

Examples include: Lining a field for a game or practice or infield preparation for a softball or baseball.

Examples above of Park Rentals.

Page last updated: 27 Jan 2023, 02:54 PM