USA Today was looking for a story and they got this one. They discovered that hotels are charging more for parking, particularly in New York City and San Francisco. Well Duh. They are also charging more for their beds, too.
The basis for the article was a survey done by a hotel association that said that the amount of money received at hotels for parking is up 50% in an eight year period ending 2006. They didn’t say that rates had increased 50%, but noted that hotels reported that more people were driving than they were a decade ago.
Fair enough. But think about it. The revenue is up 50% but the rates haven’t increased 50%. Sure, you can find a couple of high end hotels in Manhattan or San Francisco where I has, but across the board. well that’s the inference, but its very misleading.
Here’s what I think. I think the majority of that money is money that’s being collected now that wasn’t collected 10 years ago. Hotels are looking closely at their parking and along with parking equipment manufacturers have developed systems to actually collect the money from guests who drive.
There are a number of ways that the money doesn’t get collected. They include the desk clerk simply not knowing that they should charge the guest. The garage attendant cutting a separate deal with the parker. Guests "talking" their way out of the garage. And I’m sure you out there know a 100 more ways to keep the money from getting to the hotel.
New systems using the room keys for access, or those that connect every transaction in the garage with the front desk greatly increase the revenue, simply by collecting most or all of it.