Stateline casinos to implement paid parking for events center
STATELINE, Nev. — The casino corridor will see more paid parking, in addition to microtransit, as part of the permitting requirements for the South Tahoe Events Center.
As per the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency permitting conditions, the paid parking is required to be in place when the events center opens which is expected to be at the beginning of 2023, while the micro transit isn’t required to be in place until summer 2023.
However, attorney Lew Feldman, who was involved in the TRPA permit process, is hoping to start sooner.
Harrah’s and Harveys have already installed paid parking but Bally’s and Hard Rock will be following, likely this summer. This would satisfy the conditions of the permit.
Both of these conditions were put in place to lower vehicle miles traveled related to the events center. The money will be collected by the property owners so TRPA won’t make profit off of these parking meters, so it really is about lowering VMT.
“We’ve done exhaustive analysis of the impacts of both transit and paid parking as part of environmental assessment that was done during the approval process for the events center and the traffic engineers and experts forecast that the combination of those strategies would mitigate the trip generation that would’ve otherwise occurred in the absence of paid parking and microtransit,” Feldman said.
Feldman continued to say that analysis has proven that people are much more likely to park once and not move their cars if they are required to pay for parking.
The microtransit is a complementary strategy to paid parking. The free service is similar to the service currently in place on the North Shore. Riders can request a ride from an app and the van will pick them up and take them to their destinations.
If guests are staying outside of the casino corridor, they can utilize that service and not worry about parking their car at all.
The service will be available from the the Al Tahoe area, near Lake Tahoe Community College, through the casino corridor.
The service will initially run during the summer for the first three years of operation. During the fourth and fifth years, they’ll add in winter service and by the sixth year, it will run year round.
The microtransit has been an effort of Tahoe Douglas Visitors Authority and they would like to see the service running yearlong sooner.
“The Events Center is not required to provide microtransit until 2023, but the concept has gained momentum with the South Shore Transportation Management Association and other private/public partners to get after it this year,” said Carol Chaplin, TDVA president and chief executive officer said in an email.
More than half of the users of the North Shore microtransit are local, and Feldman hopes to see a similar pattern on the South Shore.
“There’s an area wide benefit that is available to residents and hopefully will become a method of getting from point A to point B that can reduce traffic and improve air quality,” Feldman said.
Bally’s has lost 500 parking spaces due to the construction, leaving 1,000 spots in their parking garage.
Feldman said a study showed about 8,000 parking spots total in the casino corridor but that during peak times, only 5,000 spots were occupied.
So, even with the loss of Bally’s street lot, there won’t be a significant burden on parking in the area and even if there is, the microtransit will be in place to fill that role.
“It is anticipated that on a busy night at the event’s center, Bally’s may fill up but as part of the parking management agreement, the core has agreed to have shared parking,” Feldman said. “One would expect the demand for parking will reduce in light of the availability of free transit.”
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