Beaufort holiday shoppers should face less confusion over free parking downtown with a new plan starting next week, city officials say.
Free parking will be offered all day in the Beaufort Downtown Marina parking lot starting Thanksgiving Day through New Year’s Day. The city previously offered free parking for two hours at its meters along Bay Street and on nearby side streets in an effort to draw Christmas shoppers.
Due to confusion among visitors and business employees taking advantage of the free spots, a city parking committee decided on the marina option to eliminate confusion. Beaufort takes about an $18,000 hit with the promotion during December, downtown operations director Linda Roper told City Council this week.
During the free parking period, the marina’s 167 spaces will be available at no cost. Cars will still be ticketed if they park in designated spaces for buses and boat trailers, Roper said.
Shoppers will still have to feed the meters along Bay Street and elsewhere downtown from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday.