DENVER — How much are you willing to pay per hour for premium parking in Downtown Denver?

Stephanie Shober said she "could imagine like $25 or $35", but never expected to pay $100.

She and her husband drove from their home in Castle Pines to Downtown Denver on Saturday night for dinner with a friend at Avelina near 17th Street and Wazee Street.

The family was running late so Shober said her husband dropped her and the kids off and pulled into the nearest lot. 

"He saw the sign but he thought it said $10," Shober said. "So, he pushed the button, took the ticket, parked and ran. We had a great dinner, a lot of fun." 

When they tried to leave the garage at 1630 Wazee St., the Shobers discovered they were paying $100 for their night out.

"It said $100 for the first hour but when you see that I think your brain registers $10 because who’s going to pay $100 for the first hour? I think that’s why my husband is like 'it is my fault, it said that,' but he thought it said $10 because who’s going to pay $100 dollars?" Shober said.

Avelina General Manager, Karen Pence, explained the charge through a spokeswoman later in the week:

"The garage was closed this past weekend because they were replacing all the fluorescent lighting. They can’t close it 100% because of monthly parkers and valet that have reserve spots already. They had a sign out front that said garage was closed and then a sign that said $100 if you park in the parking deck. They were saving spaces for valet and monthly parkers and did not have any room for any other cars in the parking deck. The signs were very clear to anyone entering the parking deck. This parking deck in the evening is always economical and unfortunately this guest did not believe the signs."

Shober posted a picture of her ticket and was met with similar outrage. 

"It’s not even that bad in San Francisco," wrote one of Shober's friends

Saturday was not Shober's first Downtown rodeo. She's lived in Colorado her whole life. 

"It’s not like I’m a downtown rookie," she said.

The Shober's paid the full $100 and are now using their experience as a warning for others looking to enjoy a fun night on the town.

"Look at the sign before you take the ticket! Make sure it says $10 instead of $100!" Shober warned.

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