Parking competition prompts new airport plan

Facing the likelihood of new off-site competition, the Indianapolis Airport Authority is stepping up marketing of its parking options.

The authority rolled out a new brand, "ParkIND," on Monday, and President Mike Wells said service enhancements, including more-frequent shuttles, will follow this summer. First, flyers will notice a simplified menu of surface parking. Starting Monday, all surface parking will be labeled as the "economy lot" and will cost $9 per day. That's the same rate that was already available for the lot farthest from the terminal.

The Indianapolis International Airport currently competes with Indy Park, Ride & Fly, which advertises a self-park rate of $8.50 per day.

"Airports across the country have off-airport competition," Wells said.

The airport authority has fought rezoning for a Cincinnati-based company that wants to open Fast Park & Relax. The authority appealed last fall a Marion Superior Court decision that upheld the rezoning and now awaits an appelate-court ruling.

"Chances are at some point in time Fast Park will also be in the business," Wells said.

Parking is an important revenue stream for the airport, and after three years in a newly built terminal, the authority is figuring out how to enhance that revenue. Wells said the airport also is responding to the needs of its customers. 

The airport consolidated surface parking into the existing 6,000-space economy lot because customers said they couldn't discern a difference between "economy" and "long-term" lots. The 4,000-space long-term lot cost $12 per day, but that rate will be eliminated.

The smaller lot will be used primarily for non-customers, but it will be open for overflow situations. 

The standard rate for the terminal garage is $18 per day. Spokesman Carlo Bertolini said that's lower than $22 that was charged in the old terminal garage, which closed in 2008.

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