Message to all Downtown Fort Collins businesses on Expanded Outdoor Dining Areas During COVID-19 Recovery

Jun 1, 2020 | Member News

Message to all Downtown Fort Collins businesses on Expanded Outdoor Dining Areas During COVID-19 Recovery from long-time leaders of the downtown restaurant and retail establishments, the DDA, DBA and City of Fort Collins:

The opportunity to expand dining to outdoor spaces will help infuse vibrancy to the downtown and increase synergy between retail and restaurant establishments. A lively downtown district is desired by everyone, and it is imperative that is it also safe, healthy and functional during this time. Most businesses in the downtown area rely on seasonal activity to sustain them. Businesses such as our restaurant sector can utilize the ideal summer weather to expand service and attempt to recoup financial losses with expanded outdoor seating areas. Similarly, retail businesses will need support in creative ways to help bolster their 4th quarter sales during the traditional holiday season.

As with navigating most uncharted territory, it will take cooperation and a balanced approach to achieve the desired results for all. Utilizing outdoor spaces such as parking lots, on-street parking spaces, alleyways, and common areas will allow consumers and businesses to have a positive downtown experience that will keep them coming back time and again.

The entire nation, and world for that matter, has had to adapt and flex based on health standards, consumer confidence and an adherence to regulations. However, we have an opportunity to provide a unique, safe and controlled environment that patrons are craving. We have a very involved community and if we can navigate the outdoor dining successfully and collaboratively, we will have instilled a confidence in new and repeat customers that the entire district can benefit from.

We encourage and ask for support from all for this effort to be successful. Things you can do to contribute to the success:

  • Restaurant, Bar, or Retailer needing expanded outdoor space? Learn more at:
  • Talk to your next-door neighbor businesses to understand shared interests. Heightened communication between all of us at this time is invaluable.
  • Business employees need to avoid the use of short-term on-street parking spaces during this time. Be direct and insist your employees use the parking garages and other long-term parking options in the downtown and on its edges. For parking location information visit