Paying to Park

We were in the planning stages of our trip to Miami and searching out hotels. The one where the Reader’s Favorite Awards was to be held was full, so we were doing our best to find one close by and within our budget. There were a few and we had a couple of choices that appealed to us. Having traveled a little bit, we’ve become trained to search the reviews for comments and the listing for the amenities offered. I mean, hey, I require certain luxuries even on the road. I want a coffee pot in my room for starters. Well, scratch that, actually. I no longer care. I’ve grown tired of what hotels pass off for coffee and have decided to take our portable Keurig with us from now on. Still, there are other things, such as the continental breakfast and working ice machines. We also prefer irons and ironing boards in the room without having to travel to the front desk to borrow one. With a couple of selections in mind we were almost set to choose.

Author friend, Margie Miklas, was also attending the event, so I emailed her and asked where she was staying in the hopes that we might all get somewhere close. I mean, it would not be much fun to travel to Miami to visit with people and not be near them, right?

She gave us her hotel and then said that the downside was that they also charged her to park her car there. I was confused as often happens when people try to explain something to me.

“Did you not park your car at the hotel where you are staying?”

She had and they were charging her almost thirty bucks to park her car there as well as the price of her room. I had never heard of such a thing. We’ve been staying in hotels for years and I have never had one charge me for parking on top of my room rate. However, according to Margie, all the hotels in big cities are doing it now and in the bigger cities you can sometimes pay up to fifty dollars a day to park your car. I was stunned. My wallet was stunned.

I quickly popped back online and started looking at some of our hotel choices. Sure enough, some of them were charging us to park our vehicle at their establishment. The rates ranged from fifteen to thirty bucks a day. It was highway robbery!

I quickly rescanned my hotel choices and found one that DID NOT charge for parking. It even had a breakfast and coffee in the room. As it turned out, neither were any good, but still it was offered for free. It was also fairly close by Miami standards to the main hotel where the event was to be held. I booked it.

As much as I hate paying for parking to attend events or even to go to the beach, I can somehow understand it. It helps pay for the maintenance and landscaping. Of course, some of it is just government greed, but it’s the price for attending these functions. When we went to Bayside Marketplace, we had to pay fifteen dollars to park all day, but at least we could come and go without having to pay again. Of course, if I can get out of it, I will. Our city has a parking garage downtown and for the most part it’s free to the public. It helps generate business downtown and worth the cost.

But a hotel charging for parking? That is just greed and stupidity. I wanted to ask if they charged for pillows or if I should bring my own. Was there a charge to use the luggage cart? Did we have to pay for ice, as well? There are just some things you expect when you go to a hotel and parking your car there is one of them. I know, it’s their business and they have the right to do or rather charge what they will for whatever they want. And people have the choice of paying or not paying. I am one of those who refuse to pay. I would rather drive a tad longer than be extorted for something that should be common sense and part of the package. I will not pay to park when I am already paying to sleep. Or maybe I should just pay the parking fee and sleep in the car. Nah, I don’t think the girls would go for it. Of course, we would then have more money to spend on shopping so….

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