Hotel Parking on Public Land…


Hotel Parking on Public Land…

I got this email:

Hi, I just found your site but I didn’t find out what I was looking for. I work at a hotel in South Carolina and all the hotel parking belongs to the city. Other than valet parking, is it legal for the hotel to charge guests or employees to park in the public parking spaces?

My answer is that if it isn’t, a lot of folks are going to jail. Of course the Hotel has to have cut a deal with the city and pay them for the spaces, unless the city is in the “donate to the hotel” business. However, if this is a “free” garage and the hotel is charging guests to park there, then caveat emptor on the guests. Why do they pay at all?

As for the valets, that’s a different story. Many times valet companies will co opt on street spaces and use them and pay the city nothing, likewise in ‘free’ garages. In fact, some valets will use nearby garages after hours to park cars and simply not tell anyone they are doing so. This is usually done by individual valets, and not sanctioned by the valet company.

In your case, we need to know a bit more about the operation. Does the city charge to park in the garages? Does the hotel have a contract with the city to use the garage? How about the valets, do they have such a contract?

Anyone else want to comment?


John Van Horn

John Van Horn

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