Who says you have to wait until the weekend to relax and enjoy San Antonio’s beautiful downtown area with co-workers and friends? In case you haven’t heard, Tuesday is the new Friday with Downtown Tuesday, a program created by the City of San Antonio Downtown Operations Department that offers locals and visitors great incentives, such as free parking and discounts, when they visit downtown restaurants, bars, museums and other attractions.
Mayor Julián Castro along with City Manager Sheryl Sculley, Councilman Diego Bernal of District 1 and Interim Director of the Downtown Operations Department Jim Mery, as well as other City of San Antonio staff, celebrated the one-year anniversary of Downtown Tuesday during a press conference today at Ocho Lounge at Hotel Havana, one of the Downtown Tuesday partners.
During the press conference, the Mayor touted the relevance of Downtown Tuesday that was created last year. Downtown Tuesday is part of his SA 2020 vision to make San Antonio the liveliest city in the country and is also part of the “Decade of Downtown.”
“San Antonians need to know: If you haven't been downtown in a while, you don't know what you're missing," Mayor Julián Castro said. "Downtown Tuesday is just one of the ways we are making downtown more convenient and more vibrant for residents."
In honor of the one-year celebration and as an incentive to encourage more people to take advantage of Downtown Tuesday, visitors can participate in a new contest in which they are asked to post photos of their Downtown Tuesday experience on the Downtown Tuesday social media pages, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Winners will be selected each week. The grand prize winner will receive free parking at the St. Mary’s Street Garage downtown for six months. The contest continues through March 12.
Councilman Bernal created the Downtown Tuesday initiative in response to hearing from people who said that parking was a deterrent from visiting the area. Downtown Tuesday offers free parking at City-operated garages, lots and parking meters on Tuesdays from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m.
“Over the first year of the program, we parked more than 36,000 cars for free on Tuesday evenings at city-operated garages and lots,” Councilman Bernal said. “For our garages and Market Square and Dolorosa lots, this represents a 48 percent increase in car counts over the past year.”
More than 75 businesses participate in the program by offering specials on Tuesday nights, Bernal added. Downtown restaurants and bars, museums, hotels, and entertainment providers, such as River barges, Segways and horse carriages, among others, participate in the program.
“We are happy to see that Downtown Tuesday is helping area businesses flourish, and, even more so, that thousands of our city’s residents are taking advantage of the free parking and discounts to enjoy our restaurants, the entertainment scene and the wonderful night life with their friends, family and co-workers,” City Manager Sculley said. “It’s also great to see that Downtown Tuesday is achieving its goals of making downtown San Antonio one of the best places to visit.”
Some of the partners involved in the initiative include the San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Tourism Council, the Downtown Alliance, and the Paseo del Rio Association, among others.
For more information, visit downtowntuesday.com