Garth, Charity, and Parking

Wow this is a hard one. I think the country’s largest parking company needs to spend a little money on a public relations firm. This kind of story can go viral, and with a picture of the country’s number one recording star adorned with that company’s logo – oh brother. Watch the video here.

Seems Garth Brooks held a concert in Nashville this week to raise money for people who had been displaced by flood waters. He sold a ton of tickets and raised a ton of money. So far so good. Well the local parking company, whose headquarters are in Nashville, has a sizable lot near the concert location and normally charges $6 to park there. However during events, they raise the fee to $15. Parking companies do this every day, nationwide.

However in this case, the concert was for charity, and the local city council asked Central to donate the difference between their normal parking fee, and the$15 concert fee to the charity. The Money Quote:

But Central Parking said it already has its charities — children’s hospitals that it gives generously to — and that the Bridgestone Arena is charging full rate for its parking spaces. It also said it’s following its competitors’ lead. “It’s a business, you know, it is a business. And we’re not trying to, we’re certainly not overcharging what we normally would do, but we are charging the rates that we normally would for such a huge (event),” a local TV station quoted a spokesperson for Central Parking.

However, as some concertgoers pointed out, the downtown Nashville Library’s parking lot remains at $4, the regular price.

There is no possible way for a company to come out of this looking good. Particularly when our industry is generally denigrated for charging for parking in the first place.

I know Central is a good company. I have heard stories about when Katrina left New Orleans devastated, and other parking companies fired their employees because there was no work, Central kept their employees on the payroll through the crisis and helped their customers recover from the disaster. That showed the corporate soul of a great company.

The problem is that one Aw S**t erases a lot of Attaboys.

JVH

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