Editor Gets Bad Grades in Math; A Big "Woof" for PT the Auditor
Editor, Parking Today:
As I was reading your Point of View column in the most recent issue of Parking Today, I realized that you might have made a simple, but common, arithmetical mistake. You first related the 50% discount that people from Missouri may realize when parking at Missouri sports stadia. In the next paragraph, you state that people from Kansas will have to pay 50% more to park at those same stadia. Assuming your first statement to be correct, the second statement is incorrect: People from Kansas will have to pay 100% more.
Consider a numerical example: Suppose the base parking rate is $20. Then people from Missouri will get a 50% discount, and pay only $10, while people from Kansas will pay the full $20. Now if we compare the amount paid by people from Kansas with the amount paid by people from Missouri, those from Kansas will pay twice as much. That is, people from Kansas will pay 100% more than people from Missouri.
Your argument sounds even more persuasive when using the 100%-increase figure.
Lawrence Hughes, AICP
Director, Service Development
Editor, Parking Today:
In regards to the 1,150-space garage that has never had more than 900 cars in it at any one time, I would like to add the following comments:
First, PT the Auditor's observations and assumptions are probably quite accurate. If he had had more room in your magazine for his article, he probably would have included the following additional marketing/revenue-generating ideas: early-bird rates; "build out" underutilized garage space to be rented out for dead storage of office files, etc.; new car or car rental storage on roof.
Overriding all of the marketing ideas mentioned here and in PT's article is the statement of a "300-person waiting list" for monthly parking. There is no excuse for not accommodating at least 150 of those. My approach would be to accommodate 200 to 250 and then reduce the number of permits sold by natural attrition, as necessary.
Our experience has been that when coming upon a scenario as referenced in PT's article, we often find the operator has one or more nearby competing properties that they also operate. The operator would have an inherent conflict.
And finally, almost without exception, we find that the operator is working under a moderate to low "flat management fee," without any incentive as to revenue achievement or containment of operating expenses. The manager's approach is to maintain the status quo and make the job easy for everyone by not attempting to maximize the bottom line performance of the facility.
It appears as though as PT the Auditor gets older, he also is getting wiser. Good dog!
Article Abstract from April, 2006