PAA Presentations

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PAA Presentations

The meat of Park Across America wasn’t the technology that enabled it to happen, it was the information about parking that was available.

The "Mess" that is Credit Cards

Blake Laufer from T2 systems took attendees on a horrifying ride into the abyss that is credit card security. Sure, there were a lot of terms and jargon but suffice it to say that if you don’t meet Visa’s criteria, you could end up with major fines. And its not just the problem of your vendor (the folks that provide the equipment to receive and store the credit card info) but its your problem, too. Blake pulled no punches, but did give you the tools you need to find your way in this potentially problematic issue. Today,  75% or more of all parking transactions are by credit card (in places that accept cards) and you will be left at the gate if you don’t offer this convenience to your customers.  Blake’s message — do it, but beware.

PPP — Public Private Partnerships

Three P — The Public Private Partnerships was perhaps the most wide ranging presentation of the five. Rick West and his panel of investment bankers, consultants, and parking operators, gave an overview of just how public agencies and work with private equity banks to lease their parking infrastructure, generate huge amounts of cash, and move the liability of aging parking facilities to the private sector. They used the recent lease of four garages in Chicago for just over five hundred million dollars by a consortium led by Morgan Stanley as a case study. I was particularly impressed by Alan Lazowski from Laz Parking. He spoke only a few minutes but stressed the importance of working with your operator both before and after the deal is completed to ensure a smooth transition and to be certain the quality of parking services is increase, not lessened, by the process.

Saving Money in Operations

Former head of parking for the City of Cincinnati and now parking consultant with the Consulting Engineers Group, Chuck Cullen, took attendees on a tour of parking operations and all the ways one can save money, and make money by focusing on certain aspects of operations – Change a light bulb here, clean up an oil spot there, review your staffing levels (adding an employee might save you money in the long run), they all make a small difference, but generate a large bump in your bottom line, and increase your customer service at the same time.

A Parking Building

Rick Choate, a parking facility designer of note from Southern California held forth on the design of parking buildings (they aren’t structures, lots, or decks, he says, but buildings.) and how the way you design your garage can affect the cost and sometimes even whether or not it can be constructed in a timely manner. A few rules to follow, and you can make a huge difference in your project.

Ah — Revenue Control

Dennis Cunning lived up to his reputation as "parking’s bad boy" as he took attendees on a tour of revenue control, and all the issues dealing with conversion to pay on foot, the problems with audits, and yes, even a tad on those contracts with your operators. This single hour gave the more than 200 in attendance enough information to pay for their registration fee and time spent with PAA ten or even 100 times over.

Yes, we recorded each presentation and they will be available on PT’s web site in a couple of weeks. Log on here and check it out.

If you didn’t join us, you missed a great parking industry event.

JVH

John Van Horn

John Van Horn

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