Parking Question

Saturday, January 26, 2002 1:54 PM
I don't know if this has been asked before, I did a search for it and like 200 pages came up so I didn't want to waste my time.  How come most Amusement/Theme Parks have parking garages?  I know there are a couple that do, but why don't more have them.  I know they cost a lot of money but they save so much space. 
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I eat glue.
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Saturday, January 26, 2002 2:20 PM
A garage costs about 10 times as much as a parking lot, so you only build a garage if the land is not available or is very expensive.
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Saturday, January 26, 2002 2:21 PM
I would suppose they would only consider one, if they were out of room for other additions to the park. Also, depending on where it was, and how big it is, it could block the view of the rides. I think that seeing the rides from outside the park would be a big deal to the marketing dept.. I know driving past a park and seeing the coasters always makes me want to go ! (they could still build an underground or 2 story garage though)

There may also be safety issues, as some people might feel unsafe in a garage, although I don't see how it would be any different than a mall in that regard, but it would be harder to monitor than a flat parking area.

Who knows ? I think a parking garage is a good idea. It's definitely better than tearing down rides to make more room, when they could just add a garage and use the lot for the rides. But it would be expensive...and that is probably the -real- reason.

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Current favorite coasters:
Wooden: 1) Beast 2) Raven 3) Son of Beast 4) The Boss 5) Timber Wolf
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*** This post was edited by Joe Carroll on 1/26/2002. ***

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Saturday, January 26, 2002 2:32 PM
Because to build one, you need in the ballpark of $12,000 a space and up. Unless you are in dire need of one, they are only feasible if you are in a year round facility, such as California Adventure or Universal Orlando. (Actually, they qualify for both).

Candidates who are in the seasonal category would be Kennywood, and / or Hersheypark next to the new Giant Arena at the west end of the lot. Sea World San Diego and Knott's Berry Farm who can generate revenue on a year round basis.   

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Saturday, January 26, 2002 2:37 PM
If people can't even use a normal parking lot normally,(SFGAdv, SFGAm)think of the pandomonium that would ensue in a parking garage.
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Flying High Again.
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Saturday, January 26, 2002 2:46 PM
A garage would not be that much harder to monitor than a flat parking lot.  If you just a team of people watch a number of security cameras for suspicious behavior, than it would be just as safe as a flat parking lot.  I mean, I know parking garages can be very complex structures and many people don't like them, but if they are built right than they are just fine. 

I can understand what you mean Joe Carroll by it blocking rides and stuff, but if it is just a two story parking garage you should still be able to see the rides.  And take your homepark for instance whatever it may be, and think about the parking lot completly cut in half and having that much room left to expand with.  And a two story parking garage wouldn't be as complex as most garages. 

And about the money issue, a park is gonna raise it's parking prices anyways, why not use that profit to build a garage?

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I eat glue.

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Saturday, January 26, 2002 2:51 PM
I simply meant that a lot of people cannot drive. It's a nightmare if you wait until SFGAm or SFGAdv close, and then you try to get out of that congested hell. Monitering the traffic may help up to a certain extent, that being people clipping others etc. but it won't help the congestion.
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Flying High Again.

*** This post was edited by Ozzyhead on 1/26/2002. ***

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Saturday, January 26, 2002 2:56 PM
Yeah, I agree about the congestion part, but I would rather spend half an hour getting in and out of the park than going there and not being able to ride as many rides as I could. 
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I eat glue.
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Saturday, January 26, 2002 3:12 PM
if its designed properly, the congestion would be minimal and it would be very easy to navigate (both in car and on foot).  Universal Orlando's parking garage is great.  very easy.  and as for congestion, there is at least one underground parking garage right in the heart of downtown Chicago.  I seriously they would put it there if it were going to cause (more) congestion problems.
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Knott's Berry Farm Cuba ~South Park
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Saturday, January 26, 2002 3:50 PM
Ok guys, remember that parks are in business to make money.  Even if they were such nice folks that they weren't trying to make money just make us happy, they still have to make some money or they won't be able to both stay in business and build new attractions to stay competitive.

As Agent Johnson pointed out parking garages are very expensive. 

$12,000 dollars plus per slot means that you probably need to generate at least $2000 in revenue each year to make a reasonable profit from the garage.  (Remember that the park has to pay interest on the money for building the garage, repay the loans, insure and maintain the garage.)  (Insurance isn't cheap on a sturcture that has tens thousands of gallons of gasoline in it in thousands of uninspected containers.)

At $10 per day that means that you need to have each parking space full on an average of 200 days per year.  Most parks just don't have a season that long.  And still fewer would fill all of the spaces every day.  A few year round parks have long enough seasons that they can do that.  A few more parks need parking so badly that they will build a garage even though they lose money on it in order to get people to come to the park and spend their money on other things.

Now you can build an flat asphalt parking lot for small fraction of the cost of a garage.  You put good pavement by the gate and on the main isles where things are busiest.  You put lighter pavement in the back that only sees use on weekends.  And, you stick the last few on the grass or gravel on the busiest days.  This way parking becomes a real profit maker. especially if runoff control doesn't cost you too much at your location.

Finally, if you ever want to expand the park where the garage is, you have a super expensive demo job.  An asphalt lot can be ripped up for a relatively low cost.

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