Improving Appearance Of Parking Structures Can Be Competitive Advantage

By Dan Kupferman and Jon Martens  
OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEPt. 1: Steps to Reduce Costs, Attract Patrons and Make Parking Facilities More AffordablePt. 2: This PagePt. 3: Parking Facility's Exterior is Crucial to Attracting Business

While cutting costs is necessary, it's not the be-all and end-all. In an increasingly competitive parking environment, owners and operators also need to sell better, making their facilities more attractive to parkers. Improving the appearance of parking structures can be a competitive advantage.

Several steps can make parking facilities more appealing and competitive. The most obvious is to give older facilities a facelift. Parkers will often avoid parking in facilities that appear to be unclean, worn-down, or unsafe.

Lighting is probably the most important element for making a parking structure more attractive to patrons. By improving visibility within parking areas, owners and operators can minimize the risk of vehicles/pedestrian collision, while at the same time reducing the number of places potential attackers can hide without being detected. A bright, well-lit facility also feels more welcoming to parkers, and as a result, more attractive as a place to park. The same LED lighting fixtures that can be used to reduce operational costs also provide brighter, truer illumination than traditional metal halide or high pressure sodium fixtures. So, in addition to providing cost benefits, they also foster a safer, more inviting parking environment.

Importance Of Signage

Wayfinding is also a key ingredient to making parking facilities more attractive to patrons. Drivers don't want to wander endlessly through a garage searching for parking spaces. A comprehensive signage package that safely directs parkers throughout a structures can make the entire parking experience more convenient. Many structures today feature lighting packages that can direct drivers to specific floors on which open parking spaces are available. The spaces are monitored by electronic sensors that can determine whether a space is open, and then transmit that information to signs outside and throughout the parking structure.

In some markets, add-ons like valet parking, vehicle detailing, and recharging bays for electric vehicles can also be used to attract parkers and provide a competitive edge. These services can often be upsold to provide addition revenue, as well. EV charging stations in particular could provide steady streams of additional income.

The presence of retail, entertainment, and other lifestyle services can also be attractive. While it's difficult and expensive to retrofit a structure, multi-use designs can be attractive options for newly developed parking structures.

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  posted on 3/20/2013   Article Use Policy

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