Many casual visitors who aren't sure they will spend money have been going where parking is free - Rio/Washingtonian Center, Downtown Crown and Pike & Rose (2 hours free at the latter). Property owners in the Town Center area have said they cannot afford to cover the cost of free parking under the restraints of the existing financial arrangements they have with lenders.
Trahan and other business owners have also complained that the limited hours of the Rockville Memorial Library across the square draw less foot traffic than a popular restaurant or retailer would. Montgomery County has slammed restaurant owners repeatedly this decade, starting with a massive hike in the Energy Tax in 2010. The County Council followed up with a historic property tax increase in 2016 that exceeded the charter limit, and a $15 minimum wage hike. "That's a lot of extra Slurpees to sell," one business owner said at a Council hearing on the wage increase.
The City's ban on outdoor smoking at the Town Square was the last straw for Trahan. "Are you trying to slow-poison business?" he asked the Mayor and Council incredulously at a 2017 worksession.