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Denver Considers Charging Business That Use City Parks

DENVER (CBS4) - The Denver City Council is considering charging businesses that use city parks for workout classes.

Many fitness businesses use the parks for boot camps. On Tuesday the city council heard from those on both sides of the issue.

Denver Parks and Recreation officials don't want to discourage people from using the park; they just want them to do so legally like other athletic groups.

The breakdown of permit costs is kind of complicated. It's based on the popularity of the park, the time of day and time of year they want to use the park, and if they need exclusive access. The costs range from $4.50 to $32.50 per 90-minute class with fewer than 25 people. It's a flat rate for all courses, no matter what the type of class, which has some people concerned.

Denver Parks and Recreation officials say the fees are determined by the average damage done to the parks and the cost to maintain them.

"The public, I think, kind of has gotten used to the fact that if someone wants to use the public park for a private activity that they need a permit to do that and there should be a fee associated with that permit," a woman said.

"My concern is this fee system is a flat fee and women who are doing a huge service in their community are going to be actually unable to afford these fees," Rachel Cleaves with LiveWell Westwood said. "So my recommendation is that they actually be more of a sliding scale, or there be some kind of exemption if you are making less than a certain tier."

The city council says they will make a decision on the permits next week.

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