Sleep Inn Beaver - Beckley
Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

Is Vehicle Parking Becoming a New Revenue Stream For Hotels?

Downtown hotels in the center of a city have been charging for parking for decades; but...

Road trips typically meant driving carefree down long stretches of the open highway — although an increase in traffic, widening of lanes, and the addition of interchanges seem to be diminishing that unmistakable feeling of freedom — as well as stopping for the night at a choice of lodging which seemed to be miles from the nearest city…

Is Vehicle Parking Becoming a New Revenue Stream For Hotels?

TownePlace Suites Chattanooga Near Hamilton Place
Photograph ©2020 by Brian Cohen.

…but are hotel properties which are considered mid-range starting to charge for the privilege of parking a vehicle at their facilities overnight while the driver catches some much-needed rest to prepare to continue the long drive the next morning?

“Pretty disappointed that places considered ‘highway’ hotels (ie, Springhill Suites and Aloft and other mid category brands, when located in non-urban areas, such as at highway exits) are now charging for overnight parking” is what FlyerTalk member SFO_FT posted in this discussion. “Aloft in Reno and Springhill Suites in Truckee now charge for parking. Argh! It’s just a ‘resort charge’ in disguise.”

Hotel and resort properties which are located in downtown areas, the centers of cities, outside the perimeters of airports, and other places where real estate is at a premium have been charging for parking for decades — although one can argue that that practice is understandable…

…plus — unlike mandatory resort fees, from which guests see little to no return on investment — people who use public transportation or taxi cab services or ride share services are not subject to pay the parking fee at one of the aforementioned lodging options, which can be as expensive as $60.00 per night.

When a hotel property is located near the exit ramp of a highway where parking is not available at any time along the street, many guests will often arrive with their vehicles as they hope for a restful place to sleep — and if what SFO_FT reports is true, the proprietors of those hotel properties have a captive audience who will have no choice but to pay extra to park their vehicles when no other options are available…

…and do not try to park a vehicle in the parking lot of a mall, local business, or other entity of which the parking lot is a part, as the vehicle could be towed before the sun rises the next morning — and then the expenses first begin to pile up: towing fees, storage fees, and any possible damage which might be inflicted upon the vehicle during the process.

Final Boarding Call

SpringHill Suites Chattanooga North/Ooltewah
Photograph ©2020 by Brian Cohen.

As I have not experienced being charged for parking a vehicle at a hotel property overnight which is considered mid-range and located adjacent to a highway, I cannot comment on this based on my personal experience — yet, anyway…

…but is what SFO_FT supposedly been experiencing a phenomenon which is increasingly becoming a new revenue stream for hotel properties which traditionally did not charge for vehicular parking — or are those experiences merely exceptions to what is considered normal? Should mid-range hotel properties which are located in areas which seem to have land to spare charge guests for parking their vehicles?

Have you been surprised by being forced to pay for parking a vehicle at a mid-range hotel property which is adjacent to a highway? If so, please relay your experience — as well as what was the cost to park your vehicle per night…

…and please do not hesitate to name the hotel or resort property which contributed to your experience…

All photographs ©2019 and ©2020 by Brian Cohen.

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