The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Downtown business owner irked by parking issues


Last updated 5/20/2021 at 12:26pm

Courtesy photo

The signs Bullet Bob Has It owner Robert Vilandry had displayed in front of his Main Street store during business hours. The city of Clovis has informed Vilandry the parking spots are publicly owned and no business can reserve spots.

CLOVIS -- Downtown business owner Robert Vilandry believes his clients deserve reserved parking spots in front of his business, but the city has told the merchant known as Bullet Bob that the spots in front of his store belong to the public.

The issue started when Vilandry noticed the parking spots in front of his Main Street antique and collectables shop were never taken by his customers, but patrons of the new Bandolero Brewery.

For the benefit of his customers, who skew older and have difficulty walking long distances, Vilandry posted signs reading, "Reserved Parking Bullet Bob Has It Customers Only Tuesday - Saturday 9:00AM - 5:00PM."

After a few days of bringing the signs in and out each day, city officials told Vilandry the signs didn't belong there, because the parking spots are city-owned.

"It's public parking for anybody and everybody to use for whichever business they would like to go to," Clovis City Manager Justin Howalt said. "There is no designated parking for any particular business."

Vilandry believes he has some right to parking spots as a business owner, and that he imagines many neighboring businesses agree.

"I pay my taxes and everything, so I should have at least a couple places for my customers," Vilandry asid. "And I'm sure all the other businesses that are going to be on Main Street are probably thinking the same thing. I was just the first one to put up signs. And they didn't like it."

Vilandry has no dispute with the brewery or owner Andrew Logan. Not only does Logan not mind the signs; he suggested Vilandry put them up in the first place.

"I think he should have the right to have some parking spaces in front of his building for his customers," Logan said. "I don't think it's fair that his handful of customers have to walk two blocks to get to his business. Some of his customers are older and they have a hard time walking long distances."

Both Logan and Vilandry said the city needs to evaluate its parking situation downtown, given new businesses. They envision the problems will only deepen with Roosevelt Brewing and Red Door opening a block north.

Howalt calls the issue a sign of growth and a good problem to have, and there's no expectation in metropolitan areas that you'll simply be able to park right next to an entrance.

Vilandry said he plans to bring up the topic of parking downtown to the Clovis city commission. The commission next meets Thursday.


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