Parking in Vegas, and My Neighborhood Gets the “Bird”


Parking in Vegas, and My Neighborhood Gets the “Bird”

Last week I stayed at a major hotel in Las Vegas. The rules are that hotel guests pay for parking but get in-and-out privileges. If you are not a guest, you pay for every exit. Fair enough.

I pulled a ticket, left it in my car, and checked in. Being a parking guy, I started to wonder just how I was to get my in-and-out privilege. I began a quest to find out. I went to the parking office and spoke to a very helpful gentleman.

I was told that upon check in I was to turn in my ticket and my room key would be then authorized to open the entrance and exit gate and charges would be made to my hotel folio. Do you see the fatal flaw? The desk clerk never mentioned parking.

I went to the front desk and asked to speak to the front desk manager. A very helpful woman appeared and heard my tale of woe. She acknowledged that the clerks are trained to ask about parking but sometimes they forget. If I would bring my ticket to the desk, they would correct the error. Or I could simply call the desk and give them my room number and they would take care of it. Just what was going to happen to my ticket at that point wasn’t discussed.

I suggested that perhaps a sign at entry telling arriving guests to bring their tickets to the check in desk would be helpful. She agreed and said it would be discussed at the next managers meeting that week. Although nothing is 100 percent, the sign would have put some of the onus on me and I would have arrived at the registration desk, parking ticket in hand, and all would have been right with the world.

I then forgot about the whole thing until I left. I got to my car and after an extensive search, discovered I had lost my ticket. I hit the button on the POF machine and spoke to another very helpful person. I was asked my room number, and then asked to put in my credit card. I did so and received a receipt that allowed me to exit the garage.

All because I didn’t give the desk clerk my ticket upon check in. This issue could be problematic as without in-and-out, and had I not been a parking pro, I might have used my ticket for exit, paid the $10 fee, returned a few hours later, pulled another ticket, left again, paid again, and returned, etc. I would have ended up paying $30 when only $10 was due. As soon as I realized that, all hell would have broken loose. After all parking in Vegas is supposed to be free, right?

As an aside, this hotel (the Cosmopolitan) has the best staff anywhere. An example: One morning when I was going up to my room in the elevator I was joined by one of the security staff. I hit my floor and he hit nothing. I assumed he was going to my (top) floor. When we got there, he didn’t get off. He simply told me to have a good day.

He was going to a lower floor and didn’t hit the button for that floor because it would have slowed down my trip to my floor. Now that’s service.

By the way, when I drove out of the parking area and pulled down my visor to shade against the 115-degree Nevada sun, the lost ticket fell into my lap. 

As my neighbor noted when we woke up to find a dozen “Bird” scooters roosting in his parkway, this issue doesn’t rank with world hunger or world peace. However, it’s a pain.

I’m as much in favor of free enterprise as then next guy, but the Bird folks need to get their act together. If these had been in front of an apartment complex, or in a commercial area, I could understand. However, in a residential area, not so much.

My neighbor called the number on the “Bird” and complained, and they were “moved” within four hours. Actually, they were redistributed around the neighborhood in groups of two or three.

“Bird” is under fire by city governments, citizen groups, and the like across the fruited plain. Riders seem to enjoy them. However, trekking down streets at 15 mph while the surrounding traffic is going three times that seems a bit over the top. “Bird” tells us that they require riders to wear a helmet. To date I have seen hundreds of “Birds” in motion, and exactly one rider with a helmet.

They also say that one must be over 18 to ride. Haw.

Unfortunately, this is a business that is crying for regulation. I hate government intrusion, but something must be done before tragedy strikes. My neighbor is concerned about tripping over them when he goes out to get his paper. Fair enough. I’m equally concerned about injury of riders and walkers alike. Perhaps if you got your “app” from a central location where you could be “checked out” before riding.

I watched a girl being coached by her boyfriend on how to ride a “Bird.” She ended up on her derriere, ankle twisted, leg scraped with the “Bird” having jumped a curb. He was giving her a “back on the horse” speech as she limped off down the street. Not a helmet in sight.

I understand “Bird” landed in Charlotte NC without so much as a by your leave. They simply dropped off a flock and started operations. The city wasn’t happy and is placing an injunction and requiring that they move their non-feathered friends elsewhere.

I know its easier to ask forgiveness than permission, but that old saw doesn’t work so well with city governments. Wouldn’t a conversation up front be a bit better?

Article contributed by:
John Van Horn
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