GRANTS PASS – After a successful run of 19 weeks, the City of Grants Pass Dine in the District parklet program has come to an end. City staff and local contractors are removing the popular outdoor dining spaces this week as fall and winter weather approach.
First instituted as a measure to assist local restaurants with overcoming dining capacity restrictions instituted by state mandates as a result of COVID-19, the parklets were installed the week of June 17, for what was to become a 90-day period.
Once the barriers were in place and utilized by local eateries, the city conducted a survey of local businesses within the city’s Central Business District to help evaluate the success of the program.
In presenting the survey results to the council in August, City Manager Aaron Cubic reported an overwhelming majority support for the program by survey respondents. Further support for the program was conveyed to the city through signed petitions collected by local restaurants.
“It was the intent of the city to assist and support the small businesses impacted by the current pandemic and to help them recover, flourish, and remain in Grants Pass. By offering this unique Dine in the District Parklet Program, the city recognized the importance of our small businesses and their impact to the stability and vitality of our community,” said Cubic.
Due to the popularity of the program, at their Aug. 31 workshop, the city council extended the parklets through Oct. 31, granting an additional six weeks to the program. At that time, the council also directed staff to begin researching the costs and variety of options for the parklets to return on a seasonal basis in the future.
“We look forward to further discussion with the council about how this program can be continued in the future with possible improvements,” said Cubic.
The topic is expected to be a part of the council’s strategic planning sessions in January.