Thursday, May 24, 2018
Business

Tampa International Airport considers higher parking rates

TAMPA — The cost of hourly parking at Tampa International Airport's garages would double if the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority's governing board approves new parking fees on Thursday.

The first hour in the short-term lot would remain free. But after that, the airport wants to double the $1 it charges every 20 minutes to park in both the short-term and long-term garages to $2.

So, the cost in both garages, after the first hour, would double to $6 an hour. Short-term parking would still be capped at $20 for the entire day. The cap on the long-term parking garage fee would increase by $1 to $16.

According to the airport, 66 percent of drivers who use the short-term garage spend less than an hour there, so they will still park for free. Officials expect the new fees will impact fewer than half of the short-term parking customers.

Airport spokeswoman Janet Zink said the airport's parking rates just aren't competitive anymore. A 2012 parking study revealed that the airport's rates have fallen behind what other airports are charging.

"Parking rates haven't gone up since 2007," Zink said. "In that same period, we've invested $85 million in the parking garage."

The airport recently installed safety phones in the garages and is now repairing and upgrading the four-decade-old ramps that get vehicles in and out of the garage. Other infrastructure improvements are also planned.

By 2017, the airport expects it will have spent a total of $113 million to upgrade its parking facilities.

Aviation Authority chairman Robert Watkins said he's still studying the issue in preparation for Thursday's board vote. But his inclination is that the airport can't afford to leave any revenue behind.

"That revenue is going to be needed," Watkins said, "and our parking rates need to be appropriate."

There's still a free option for anyone picking up somebody from the airport: the cellphone waiting lot.

Comments
Behind the deal: $52 million boutique hotel coming to Ybor City started with cafe con leche at La Tropicana Cafe

Behind the deal: $52 million boutique hotel coming to Ybor City started with cafe con leche at La Tropicana Cafe

TAMPA ó Joe Capitano Sr. invested in the 1400 block of E Seventh Avenue in 1985, never doubting the huge potential of the property for Ybor City.But the deal to build a $52 million boutique hotel on the site didnít start to come together until six ye...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Sprouts Farmers Market to open new store in Riverview

Sprouts Farmers Market to open new store in Riverview

RIVERVIEW ó Sprouts Farmers Market is opening a new location in Riverview, the chain announced Thursday. The new store will be located at Summerfield Crossing Shopping Center, though Sprouts did not have a specific opening date.The announcement comes...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Tampa Electric to shut down Big Bend coal unit that killed 5

Tampa Electric to shut down Big Bend coal unit that killed 5

APOLLO BEACH ó Tampa Electric Co. is taking a big step away from coal. The Tampa-based utility is spending $853 million to convert its coal-fired Unit 1 at its Big Bend Power Station to natural gas and retire coal-fired Unit 2 in 2021.Five workers di...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Hooper: More than a restaurant, Lee Roy Selmonís was a meeting place

Hooper: More than a restaurant, Lee Roy Selmonís was a meeting place

Itís where former Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Doug Williams had lunch with current Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston.Itís where University of South Florida fans often gathered to watch the programís biggest road games.Itís where folks showed up in...
Updated: 5 hours ago
An Amazon Echo recorded a familyís conversation, then sent it to a random person in their contacts, report says

An Amazon Echo recorded a familyís conversation, then sent it to a random person in their contacts, report says

A family in Portland, Oregon, received a nightmarish phone call two weeks ago."Unplug your Alexa devices right now," a voice on the other line said. "Youíre being hacked."Apparently, one of Amazon.comís Alexa-powered Echo devices in their house had s...
Updated: 5 hours ago
As home sale prices rise, a lack of homes makes it tough on buyers

As home sale prices rise, a lack of homes makes it tough on buyers

Home sale prices continued to rise both nationally and statewide in April as a prolonged dearth of available homes on the market is making it tough on buyers. A total of 24,804 single-family homes changed hands across Florida last month, up 4.1 perce...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Brink: A 25-cent hike in the federal gas tax is a rotten idea for Florida

Brink: A 25-cent hike in the federal gas tax is a rotten idea for Florida

No matter your politics, the proposed 25-cent hike in the federal gas tax is a lousy idea.Itís regressive, burdening the poor and working class more than the rich.Federal interference with state transportation projects can raise costs, layer on regul...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Tutor looks to empower athletes in Wesley Chapel

Tutor looks to empower athletes in Wesley Chapel

Rashay Hudson operates a tutoring business in Wesley Chapel, and NaDorian Hudson has played basketball his entire life, including in college and the ABA. Now, the husband and wife duo are combining their areas of expertise with a new program for kids...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Bar builder finds solid success in Tampa

Bar builder finds solid success in Tampa

TAMPA ó Ever since he was a little boy, Chris Davenport loved to build things with Legos and erector sets. As he grew older, he spent time working with his dad, a carpenter, and then took welding classes in high school. While in college studying engi...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Metro Diner brings fare to South Tampa

Metro Diner brings fare to South Tampa

Metro Diner, having already established several locations across Florida, including St. Petersburg, now brings its large portion-sized comfort food options across the bay.The local diner is slated to open Tuesday (May 29) at 4011 W Kennedy Blvd and w...
Updated: 10 hours ago