parking idea/ space saver

Friday, May 25, 2007 12:38 PM
I apologize if this has been covered, but it just popped into my head.

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!

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Friday, May 25, 2007 12:42 PM
Sounds great to me too, but others have said that the costs of construction outweigh the benefits.
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Friday, May 25, 2007 1:10 PM
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.
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Friday, May 25, 2007 1:21 PM
Plus...at closing time...everyone trying to get out of the garage at the same time!?....sheesh!! Haven't you been to like an Indianapolis Colts football game or something??
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Friday, May 25, 2007 1:26 PM
I would say that the cost is not even as big of a deal as the exiting and entering at closing. Nothing would piss me off more than to have to wait in a long line to get into the parking deck that gets me into the park. Then, even after a good day, I'd be left with a bad taste in my mouth while spending an hour to exit the parking deck.

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.

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Friday, May 25, 2007 1:48 PM
Universal seemed to make it work. I always thought Cedar Point should do that. If you arrive on a late saturday, good half mile walk, if not more.
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Friday, May 25, 2007 1:51 PM
A better way to add more spots is also a little more dirty of a way that would piss off car owners.

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.

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Friday, May 25, 2007 1:56 PM
HP really doesn't need any more land at this time. They just bought extra land near the parking lot anyway (Golf Course I think) and the park is pretty large as it is...imho.

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.

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Friday, May 25, 2007 2:57 PM
I gues I should throw in that IoA/USF ("the complex") often has staggered closing times for the two parks, has LOADS of on-site hotel guests, and MANY people stay later to enjoy CityWalk.

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...

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Friday, May 25, 2007 2:59 PM

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.

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Friday, May 25, 2007 3:02 PM
^But remember you have to also factor in the value of the land reclaimed. Some areas where property values are high or space is limited will see a return much quicker.
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Friday, May 25, 2007 3:04 PM
It takes a lot of cars to pay for a $25 million dollar Intamin lawn ornament too. ;)
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Friday, May 25, 2007 3:41 PM
Exactly!

Filling a few new acres with rides, restaurants, & such costs a lot too.

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Friday, May 25, 2007 4:28 PM
Let's use Cedar Point as an example. If they, on average, bring in 7500 cars a day, and each car pays $10 (which we know they don't), that's $75k a day. Multiply that by 130 (approximate number of days the park is open) and you get $9,750,000.

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

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Friday, May 25, 2007 4:40 PM
Jeff: Yes, it would be expensive to undertake such an expansion. Once the parking garage is paid off, you are going to be making (almost) pure profit (sans maintenance). Then, you have just expanded your park, which can allow for higher marketability, shorter lines, and an increase chance at making guests happy.

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***

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Friday, May 25, 2007 5:03 PM
A parking garage is only going to be worth the money if a park is honestly out of room and I can't think of a single park that's attendance has plateaued due to space constraints.
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Friday, May 25, 2007 7:38 PM
We are working on a 10 story parking garage in downtown Harrisburg. I'm pretty sure the figure I heard to build it is roughly comes out to $10,000 per parking space.

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.

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Friday, May 25, 2007 9:23 PM
Before a parking garage is built, you'd have to do a lot of soil testing to see how much weight the ground below can bear, how deep and how large your foundations have to be. Very expensive proposition.

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.

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Friday, May 25, 2007 9:43 PM
With the exception of what's left of the original parking lot at Disneyland, which continues to shrink as DCA expands, the resort uses a single, massive parking garage. I've never experienced any trouble getting into or out of it, traffic wise.

USH seems to do pretty well with their two garages as well.

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Friday, May 25, 2007 10:56 PM
GoodBear: There are certainly maintenance costs associated with parking garages, but there are similar maintenance requirements for normal parking lots. As is required for parking garages, parking lots have to be well lit; therefore, light bulbs need to be changed in both.

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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