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PT BLOG from Page 36 Will a lease across the street from a major venue be a success?

Will the Lakers have a good team this year (actually the question might be will the Kings and Clippers have good teams this year)? If you got the contract for LA County beaches, you lose your ass if it’s foggy on the Fourth of July. I know operators that hire shamans and weather gurus to predict what is going to happen a year in advance. I’m not sure one can fill in percentages with variables like that. I know a dozen experts who can sit in front of a garage for an

hour and tell you within 5% what the garage should be grossing in a year. And when they are told they are high, they simply recom- mend that the manager be fired. A fellow I know is a partner in a surface lot across from Staples

Center in LA. He stands in the middle of the street during events and flags people into the lot. He uses variable pricing. If the lot is filling fast, he keeps the price up. If things are slow, he drops the price instantly. He knows exactly when to lower that price. And there is a person like him in every market, across from every venue, near every surface lot in the country. Are ancillary services an important source of revenue for opera-

tors (carwashes, advertising, oil changes, electric charging stations, etc.)? Beats the hell out of me. Most operators I know are suspect when such salespeople come calling. In some markets and some venues, it works. Take a shopping center with a theater. Advertising on tickets, promoting a new flick

or giving discounts at certain stores might be just right. However, would that work at a medical office building? I told the consulting firm’s interviewers that like politics, all

parking is local. You have to understand the market, and mold your services to fit. Companies try one-size-fits-all at their peril. I think researchers would do better to just talk to industry

denizens. Sit down with CEOs, regional managers, consultants, suppliers, facility owners, city parking managers, airport parking managers and just listen to them talk about parking. After a cou- ple of weeks learning, then determine the questions you should be asking. Just my two cents.

A Better Parking Plan (Posted April 28)

Wow, I’m impressed – an editorial writer for The Commercial

Appeal newspaper in Memphis, TN, actually nails it. The city wants to lease out its on-street parking operation to a

private company and get about $20 million upfront. This sage isn’t so sure about the deal, writing: “A financial crisis can cause an individual to make an unwise

decision to relieve the crisis. That’s one of the reasons payday-loan companies are able to stay in business. “A bill is due, and the individual makes a loan that carries a high interest rate and fees. The crisis is relieved, but only temporari-

Continued on Page 40

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