CF Polo Park now offering paid reserved parking
Published Saturday, March 16, 2019 10:59AM CST
Last Updated Monday, March 18, 2019 6:34PM CST
Finding a good parking spot among the 5800 at CF Polo Park involves luck and good timing.
But now the shopping centre is offering another way to guarantee a premium spot. It's launched a pilot project where customers pay to reserve a parking spot called CF Park.
"We're going to try it for the next six weeks, just to see what the interest is, and see if Winnipeggers really want to pay for some premium parking," said Polo Park general manager Peter Havens.
The premium is $5. The mall has 24 reserved spots in total for the program, located around the four main entrances.
Drivers just have to go to the Polo Park website, or download an app, and then pay to park in one of them.
Customers like Sarah Carroll say they like the convenience.
"It was super easy,” said Carroll. “I just signed on, used my Apple Pay to pay for it. And it was pretty seamless," she said.
But not everyone is willing to spend money before they even step foot in the mall.
"Not for me," said Morley Fortier.
"The whole point of having the big parking lot in the shopping centre, is so I'm not paying for parking!"
On a typical Monday afternoon, spaces close to the door aren't exactly scarce. But during the busy Christmas shopping season that often isn't the case, and it's during those times when a reserved spot could be in high demand.
"They know exactly where they're going to park, not have to worry about fighting the line or going to the end of the parking lot or walking if its inclement weather," said Havens.
And according to retail and marketing expert Robert Warren, offering some added convenience is a smart idea to keep customers from buying online.
"The reason some people say I'm going online to buy things? I hate parking. It's a pain! So if you can take that pain away, it’s just one more way to get people into traditional bricks and mortar," he said.
This may not be the end of the premium parking options offered at the mall. Peter Havens says it’s possible that in the future they may even bring valet parking to Polo Park.