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New policy at Denver's Union Station over shared public space divides visitors

Posted at 9:23 PM, Feb 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-26 01:08:46-05

DENVER — Union Station has a divisive new policy which some believe is singling out Denver's growing homeless population.

“Homeless people deserve a place to stay warm. Especially in the winter. They should be able to be inside just for a little bit,” said resident Jazmine Pace.

"The public doesn’t want them [homeless] to freeze out here and businesses obviously want to make money," Alex Edmunds, another resident said.

Placed on nearly every table inside the Great Hall of Union Station is a gold placard reading "seating reserved for patrons of Denver Union Station businesses and the Crawford Hotel.”

Union Station is owned by several government entities, including RTD and the City of Denver.

In a statement on behalf of Denver Union Station, a spokesperson wrote:

“Denver Union Station and the Great Hall continue to remain open to the public at all times. Due to overwhelming demand from patrons of our many food and beverage outlets, we have extended our service into the central area of the Great Hall for guests to enjoy, as well as for RTD and Amtrak passengers and guests of The Crawford Hotel. As a privately leased and managed building, this extension was a collective decision made by Denver Union Station’s management team. All other areas of Denver Union Station’s Great Hall remain open to the public and we will continue to provide a fun, energetic and safe place for all guests to enjoy.”

“I kind of understand both sides of this story. When I go through it sometimes I see people sleeping and taking up all kinds of space,” said Michael Spille, “I also understand, 'Well, the weather is bad' and people need to get warm.”

A Union Station spokesperson said the policy took effect February 17.