My Kingdom for a Parking Garage

Chris Mordyk, columnist for News24 in Capetown South Africa has a pleasant piece about how wonderful it is to own a parking garage. You can read it here. As you read through, you find he isn’t talking about just any parking garage, but an on airport garage which has no competition and is basically, according to him, a license to print money.

The prices aren’t set by the market since there is no competition, and he feels that although its good for the airport, he recommends you take the train.

As with most of these pieces, Chris conveniently forgets the tens of millions of dollars that are invested in the garage. The “few light bulbs” are really a major expense and the power to run them, well….

He also derides the “thingamabob” that collects your money and opens the gate but fails to note that the machines are expensive and must be monitored and maintained.

Parking garages are airports can be lucrative, no doubt, but there is also considerable risk when on invests in such an operation and doesn’t have the deep pockets of an owner like an airport.

If you take Chris’ advice and forgo college for a parking garage, be sure you have a plot of land, a bunch of money, a traffic generator (theater, airport, train station, etc) and plenty of understanding on how to run this complex business.


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