Orlando limits weekend access at city-managed downtown garages

The Orlando Police Department and the City of Orlando are using a new strategy to manage crowds downtown. 

A city spokesperson confirmed to FOX 35 that seven downtown parking garages under city management would limit access beginning at 11 p.m. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights. The change took effect May 10.

Eric Fuller, a co-owner at Celine Orlando, said the change was an instant headache that led to a 40 percent drop in sales compared to the week before.

"We had an artist that couldn’t get to our venue, had to walk in, which it’s not the end of the world," Fuller said. "On Saturday night is when we really started to notice it. We had a lot of our guests, VIP tables that were booked, they just simply turned around."

Fuller said he's pushing for more collaboration between city leadership and downtown bar owners.

"By not having a seat at the table in some of these conversations, I think they’re really missing out on the full picture," Fuller said.


In a statement shared with FOX 35, the city said, "This is not a new policy or council action; rather, [this measure is] just one of several initiatives the city has taken to further safety in downtown."

Nine people were hurt in a downtown shooting in 2022. Months later, city leaders started requiring special permits for downtown bars selling alcohol after midnight. In April, the city council agreed to extend a moratorium on downtown nightclubs, which was first approved in 2023.

Adam Brunson, who works at Casey's on Central, said doing business is getting more complex.

"We’ve been here since 1998, and it feels like the city is just trying to make us fail," Brunson said.

Drivers will be able to leave parking garages after 11 p.m. but will not be able to re-enter. Some of the garages are attached to apartment buildings. People living in those apartments must show proof to park after 11 p.m.