Ok, the post below was all in fun, however I did get a couple of serious parking tidbits at the LA Parking Association Party. LAPA President Bob Hindle reported that the organization and its lobbying arm, Ken Spiker And Associates, had prevailed on the city council and any changes in the parking tax would be put off for another year. Think globally, act locally.
I also learned from a source that will remain nameless, that one of the reasons some major parking operators make more on their bottom line than others, is because of the type of locations they run. Those that have leases are subject to increases in operating costs, insurance for instance. They must eat those costs and that comes right off their potential profit. Those operators that have management agreements, pass the increases in costs through to the owners and their profits remain steady.
Its a roll of the dice for leases. Uncontrollable costs, like insurance and health benefits, can eat you alive. But then if you do well and pay low enough rent, you can make a killing. The more conservative management contracts may not be as sexy but in the long term protect the bottom line.
Bob Hindle confirmed the note I put in my column each summer about "June Gloom" and the beach contract in Los Angeles. If I can hear the fog horn at the entrance to Marina Del Rey on the Fourth of July, the operator who runs the parking at the beaches has lost money that year. Bob says his company had one five year contract that didn’t make any money until the fourth year and then only just broke even over the entire contract. It was a bad summer for beach goes, he says.
That was then, now the new contracts are negotiated differently to protect the operators a bit from the vagaries of Mother Nature and El Nino.