I have said for years that providing parking reservations, on the web, except at airports, is a solution looking for a problem. I have derided the gents from silicon valley with pocket protectors that designed software so that we could reserve parking prior to driving into town to visit our dentist or lawyer. I said “Hell, I’ve never had a problem finding parking” and since as far as parking is concerned, I’m everyman, (or woman, for that matter), I dismissed the process as absurd.
I had a long conversation the other day with
Aashish Dalal of Parkwhiz and frankly, he opened my eyes to a couple of things in this area. First of all, most folks don’t want reservations when they return to places they have been before. His company focuses on sports venues, theaters, and other events. Now that makes sense.
He said that in some cases, there are only so many spots available. If people reserve them in advance, they will pay a premium. They get their space, and everyone wins. He also cuts deals with operators/owners who have available space nights and weekends. Say a sold out ball game or play is a couple of blocks from a certain garage. He can provide reserved spaces in that garage during empty times (nights and weekends), and enable the owner to recoup some money during times his garage is sitting empty.
This caught my attention. His reservation service becomes a secondary source of cars for locations that otherwise would have few if any parkers during certain periods. They can adjust the pricing so that they attract drivers who would otherwise have no clue where to park, or pay top dollar to park in the venue’s parking facility. By providing reservations, an owner is sure that his garage will be a revenue generator during off hours.
Check out Aashish’s web site here. Note that he stresses sports and concert venues, but has dozens of airports, too. He told me that at airports he specializes in cutting deals with hotels and office buildings that have excess capacity. Hotels are perfect as they already have the transportation in place.
See, I can learn when there is something to learn…