For my example I am going to use the late MB Pavilion. With not much room downtown for parking, they built a huge 10 story parking garage, which seemed very effective at saving space and providing plentiful parking.
Now lets take my favorite park for example, Hershey Park. With all the land they have spread out for parking, couldn't they just build a large parking garage on a section of it, and use the rest of the land for expansion?
Also it would streem-line the tram service to just one stop. Now I know there will be expenses of building and maintaining, but at $15 for preferred and $8 for regular parking it sounds like it might be feesible, and look at all the room they would have as a result!
Any feedback on why this idea is good or bad would be great!
The only way something like that would work is if there were multiple (like 8 or 10) entrances and exits. That jacks up the cost even more. If you've got the land, then use it for cheap parking.
The best way to get more spaces out of your limited lot is to just shave maybe 6" to a foot off a line per parking spot. In the end, you could have 100's of new parking spaces...
...the problem is that most parking lots in parks do not even have divider lines for individual cars, but instead just lines for each row of cars, so that kinda throws that theory out the window.
Parking ramps, however, are almost out of the question unless one has very very deep pocketbooks and/or are located "in the city" with very limited space.
But if you are just using HP as an example, then a parking garage is a good idea for parks needing more space, except for the cost, if done right.
Universal Studios Florida has the largest Parking Garage in existence, IIRC. They seem to get cars in and out all right.
There was a very popular rumor going around even as late as 1999 when I worked there that CP was going to build a huge parking garage off point and transport people to the park via monorail and boat (like Magic Kingdom), which would free up a huge chunk of land in the parking lot for expansion. It was very believable then, but seems laughable to me now.
Lakemont Park in Altoona PA has a Parking Garage, but it's also used for baseball games at the nearby field.
I only bring this up by way of mentioning that the *rush* to leave the parking lot is usually not an "all-at-once" thing the way that it might be for say, Hershey, where everyone is leaving the lot when THE park closes.
Parking garages are *incredibly* expensive...
Jeffrey Seifert said:
Parking garages average about $4,500.00 to $10,000.00 per space. Even at $15.00 per car, it would take a seasonal park several years to recoup the initial investment.
Jeffrey is on the right track here. Parking garages are better suited for high rate monthly permit parking or high turnover locations with a steep rate structure.
At $15 per car per day (considering the space will be occupied by the same car all day) it will take a long time to recover the cost of construction for a seasonal park. The university I work for is planning a couple new ramps where the cost per space is expected to be close to $13k. It takes a lot of cars to pay for a $15 million parking structure.
Filling a few new acres with rides, restaurants, & such costs a lot too.
If the park builds a 10 story parking deck that holds 2,000 cars at a cost of $10,000 per space, that's $20 million. It would take over two years to pay that off, and the amount of land that it would give them (about 1/5 of their parking lot) would then cost an additional $20 million or more to landscape and install small rides, food stands, etc. Then, there would need to be a roller coaster (likely) to be the flagship attraction in the area. Three out of four of Cedar Point's last roller coasters cost $20 million or more.
The total cost to build a parking deck and then take care of the area, which would probably be spread out over a 2 year period? $60,000,000
I don't think it would be required that the park expand right away if a park chose to build a parking garage.
Let's say a park was really strapped for land. They have a choice: A) They can purchase more land; or B) They can build a parking garage and free up several acres.
Have you ever seen the documentary about Disney World? In the planning stages and when they were trying to acquire land, Walt made sure that NO ONE knew they were trying to purchase land down there. As soon as it was announced, the price of land went up by a HUGE percentage.
Land around current parks is no different. Parks are probably going to have to pay much more than the "appraised" value to purchase land.
I'm not saying I have all the answers, but you seem to only be looking at the initial investment and not how and when it will pay for itself.
A parking garage, I think, would pay for itself eventually. How long do you think it will take Maverick to pay for itself?
*** Edited 5/25/2007 8:43:13 PM UTC by Infamy***
It's been at least a year since construction started and there is still a long way to go. It wouldn't be somthing that would be open the following year. The park would loose some of the parking it has until it's finished. Not to mention all the extra construction traffic, dust, and noise of a jobsite. They could work nights but you couldn't start until the park closed, and be out before they reopened making it tough to get in 8 hour work days then you would need to run lights and generators. With generators comes noise so you could have neighbors complaining.
Aren't there problems with sections of the parking garage at IOA? I seem to remember hearing about floors that aren't used.
Even after a garage is built, your expenses don't end. There's still maintenance-- lights to be replaced, elevators to be maintained. You'll still need to keep them clean and secure (unless you're SF :) )
Few parking garages I've seen resemble anything called aesthetically pleasing. Not a great first impression a park might want to make, unless they spend even more money to make it look pretty to the eye.
But as others pointed out, the biggest issue would be traffic flow. Right now, HP has dozens of people out in the lots filling a dozen different aisles at once. And traffic still backs up out onto Route 39. Imagine the backup while cars went back and forth at 5 mph in a parking garage searching for the next free space. Not to mention the backup while everyone waits for the minivan determined to squeeze into a spot reserved for small cars.
USH seems to do pretty well with their two garages as well.
If a parking lot is asphalt, it needs to be repaved every year or every other year. The lines need to be repainted.
If it's concrete, there will be cracking that needs to be repaired.
Obviously, some of these are necessary for parking garages as well.
The only point I was trying to make that it's far more complex than considering projected construction expenses alone.
As others have stated, a parking garage does not have to equal traffic nightmares. *** Edited 5/26/2007 2:56:45 AM UTC by Infamy***
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