Calgary

City of Calgary wants you to rent a parking lot for your next event

Lower demand for parking spaces during the recession has the Calgary Parking Authority looking at other ways of making money from its facilities. The city-owned agency is trying to ramp up its event rental business.

Bike sales, party tents, but no weddings booked just yet

The Centennial Parkade on Ninth Avenue in downtown Calgary is just one of the parkades and surface lots that can be rented out. (Google Maps/Screenshot)

Less demand for parking during the recession has the Calgary Parking Authority looking at other ways of making money from its facilities.

The city-owned agency is trying to ramp up its event rental business.

Jennifer Whitaker with the CPA said there's been a noticeable drop in parking demand in the off-peak hours on weekends and evenings. 

"Our lots are not as utilized as they would be during the week, obviously, so what we're trying to do is find creative ways to optimize those spaces on non-peak hours," she said.

The CPA's revenue from its parkades and surface lots dropped by over $4.2 million from 2015 to 2016. 

CPA entertaining all ideas

Stampede was a boon for the events strategy.  

Whitaker said a local bar rented out the CPA lot next door to its location and used the space for a Stampede party tent. 

Some CPA parking lots were also rented for staging ahead of the Stampede parade.

The Alberta Bike Swap has been held in the City Centre parkade on 10th Avenue S.W. for the past couple of years.

Whitaker said they've also rented out some of their lots for movie shoots and for farmers' markets.

Surface lots over parkades

Surface lots seem to be attracting more interest than parkades, likely because they have greater visibility for people passing by.

"If you're a community organization and you were holding a fundraiser, you would have more exposure than you may in an enclosed area, if you were out in the open and it's a bit of a festive feel to have a big open space to work with."

Whitaker said it's too early to know if the strategy will open up much of a new revenue stream. 

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