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Cheapskate Parking Solution
Old 05-30-2012, 02:05 PM   #1
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Cheapskate Parking Solution

The downtown hotel in Portland where we will be staying in June charges $22 per night for parking. Since we won't be using the car while we are staying there, I'm considering some cheapskate alternatives:

1. Park in a residential suburban area on the outskirts and ride my bike back to the hotel. I'd be sure to leave nothing steal-able in the car.

2. Park at a Walmart that allows overnight parking (7 mile easy ride).

3. Park at the airport ($10/day).

4. Just eat the $22/day charge.

What do you think?
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Old 05-30-2012, 02:14 PM   #2
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Since paying for parking is against your religion I'm surprised to see those options.

For me it would depend on how long I was staying - if only a day or two, I'd pay the $22. The WallyWorld option would be preferable to leaving it in a residential neighborhood as the WW almost certainly has 24-hour security.
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Old 05-30-2012, 02:19 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
The downtown hotel in Portland where we will be staying in June charges $22 per night for parking. Since we won't be using the car while we are staying there, I'm considering some cheapskate alternatives:

1. Park in a residential suburban area on the outskirts and ride my bike back to the hotel. I'd be sure to leave nothing steal-able in the car.

2. Park at a Walmart that allows overnight parking (7 mile easy ride).

3. Park at the airport ($10/day).

4. Just eat the $22/day charge.

What do you think?
Would it be cheaper to rent an inexpensive car for the drive? Drop it off when you get to Portland and then rent it again for the drive home? A one day rental can often be had for $18 - $22.
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Old 05-30-2012, 02:37 PM   #4
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The cost benefit analysis is up to you. In the past we have dropped our car at the periphery such as at a park and ride lot that is free/cheap or at a local business where we have permission (if you know someone). Then take transit or a taxi to your hotel. Not sure I would do that for a 1 day $22 charge but it may be worth it for multiple days.

Any chance they have on street meter parking where you can pop a few dollars in a couple times during the day, or a private lot that charges less than $22/day? I would be more likely to do something like this (ie park 1-2 blocks away to save $10-12/day on parking.
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Old 05-30-2012, 02:44 PM   #5
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The cost benefit analysis is up to you. In the past we have dropped our car at the periphery...at a local business where we have permission (if you know someone). Then take transit or a taxi to your hotel.
<cough, cough> cheapskate...but Charleston IS an expensive place to park!
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Old 05-30-2012, 02:49 PM   #6
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<cough, cough> cheapskate...but Charleston IS an expensive place to park!
Another "victim" of my cheapskateness. Hey that cruise terminal parking was $140 for the week IIRC and I only paid $20x2 for the taxi rides. Oddly enough there were hotels in Charleston that have figured out how to get cruise guests to stay at their hotel the night before. Stay a night, get free parking for the week with a free shuttle to/from the cruise port. The rooms are cheaper than the cruise terminal parking and you get a free place to stay with continental breakfast in a beautiful city.
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Old 05-30-2012, 02:50 PM   #7
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Don't know the area, but here's a parking lot with prices, max is $15/weekday and as cheap as $7/weekday. They give you the map of their garages too:

Learn About Rates
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Old 05-30-2012, 02:52 PM   #8
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I know a guy, lets say he's a friend, who didn't want to pay the $9/hr > min. 40$ a day for parking at a hotel in downtown Toronto about a month ago. He happened to read the rules on the big sign they had beside the entry to the parking garage. "Any lost tickets will incur the full payment for daily parking" This "friend" and his wife enjoyed their two days at the hotel and then, wouldn't you know it, lost his ticket just before they got to the parking exit booth...
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Old 05-30-2012, 02:58 PM   #9
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Downtown Portland parking options:

parking lots/garages -
rates -
Learn About Rates
map of locations -
Map

Metered parking - This is the most expensive at $1.60 per hour!
About Metered Parking: Rates, Days and Hours of Operation

For a little inconvenience (walking/biking a few blocks) you should be able to park nearby for quite a bit less than $22/day.

Be aware that if you seek out a nearby residential neighborhood that many are permitted parking areas.
Area Parking Permit Program (APPP)
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Old 05-30-2012, 03:00 PM   #10
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Dang, we will be out of town during your visit.

The residential areas in the vacinity of Portland hotels that charge for parking have parking restrictions because many have done what you are thinking about, locals pay $45/year for unlimited street parking. I live in Zone A: http://www.portlandonline.com/transp...38744&a=327083

You should look for "Smart Park" garages in the downtown area. SmartPark Garages You are able to park at most SmartPark garages overnight. Call 503-790-9300 for more information. The SmartPark at Naito & Davis is very accessable by the MAX (our light rail) and would be my first choice.

There is a Smart Park garage on NW Station Way & Marshall streets (about a block north of the Amtrak station) where I have parked my car during extended visits in the past. It isn't on the 'official' SmartPark map. I recall seeing secure bike garages there.

The minus of those garages is that you couldn't use them with your bikes still on the roof. As long as you will be calling about overnight parking ask about secure bike 'garages' at the facility.

Eh, what Walmart did you have in mind that is 7 miles away? I wouldn't park overnight at either of them on SE 82nd.
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Old 05-30-2012, 03:13 PM   #11
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FWIW, I often travel to a city where I'm required to stay in a hotel that charges $27 a day for valet parking (no self parking option). On my first trip, I happened to notice that the valets put the cars in a public garage across the street that charges $18 a day.

Ever after, I've simply parked it myself in that garage and walked across the street to/from the hotel.

You might investigate whether a similar situation applies where you're going.
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Old 05-30-2012, 04:36 PM   #12
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I sure am glad I don't live in a big city. I don't think I could physically hand over $20 just to park my car for 1 day. Most parking around here is free. If I go to the downtown area of the nearby "big city" of 75,000 people then I have to pay $2 to park in the ramp. I was mad when they raised it from $1 a couple years ago.
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Old 05-30-2012, 04:48 PM   #13
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Portland, OR? Mass transit is pretty good around downtown. I'd look at parking elsewhere, and taking the bus to the hotel if its a longer stay.
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Old 05-30-2012, 05:55 PM   #14
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I was in Portland a couple of years ago and agree that the downtown mass transit is quite good (too bad it was super windy and rainy, though - I was there in November). It's very convenient to take the train from the airport to downtown (and a good price).

I also went there sometime in the 90s, but that was around this time of year, and I remember the city as beautiful. I didn't take any mass transit that time, just walked around a lot.
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Old 05-30-2012, 06:07 PM   #15
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The WallyWorld option looks pretty good; it's an easy 7 mile ride back to the hotel

WallyWorldToHotel.jpg

and most of that is on a dedicated bike path

BikePathFromWallyWorld.jpg

The bridges are also designed to take bikes.

HawthorneBridge.jpg

Are there usually a number of RVs in the Walmart parking lot?
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Old 05-30-2012, 06:20 PM   #16
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Would it be cheaper to rent an inexpensive car for the drive? Drop it off when you get to Portland and then rent it again for the drive home? A one day rental can often be had for $18 - $22.
That's an idea, but we are taking three bikes.
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Old 05-30-2012, 10:11 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
The downtown hotel in Portland where we will be staying in June charges $22 per night for parking. Since we won't be using the car while we are staying there, I'm considering some cheapskate alternatives:
1. Park in a residential suburban area on the outskirts and ride my bike back to the hotel. I'd be sure to leave nothing steal-able in the car.
2. Park at a Walmart that allows overnight parking (7 mile easy ride).
3. Park at the airport ($10/day).
4. Just eat the $22/day charge.
What do you think?
Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
That's an idea, but we are taking three bikes.
Are you taking all three bikes with you to the hotel, or do you have to worry about their security as well as the car? Bike parts are a lot easier to pilfer.

I know a retiree's time is worthless, but this sounds like a pretty high hassle factor that will occupy your time while you could be doing something more pleasant. Have you already saved $22 in some other way by asking the hotel about discounts or free parking? Can you declare $22 of victory in some other aspect of your lifestyle that doesn't require adding this extra labor to your "leisure entertainment" time? Instead of blowing the big bucks on the Portland hotel and then fuming silently over the $22 junk fee, could you rent something via AirBNB or VRBO or get a Priceline bargain?

We used to get grumpy about paying airport parking fees when we were on air travel. Now I think it's up to $15/day. We used to park at Naval Station Pearl Harbor just down the road and take a taxi to the airport. However that became more and more of a hassle: finding a cab to pick us up at the base in time to make our flight, finding out that the cab couldn't go through the base gate, finding base tickets on our car when we got back, having trouble getting an airport cab to the base when we returned... the list was endless. Now we just add the airport parking expense into our entertainment/travel budget and enjoy saving an hour of stress-free time.

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... as the WW almost certainly has 24-hour security.
I'd be more worried about the 24-hour towing service. Especially the part where some stranger parks a suspicious-looking vehicle on a residential street and then furtively pedals off on a getaway bicycle.
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Old 05-31-2012, 09:22 AM   #18
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Are you taking all three bikes with you to the hotel, or do you have to worry about their security as well as the car? Bike parts are a lot easier to pilfer.
The hotel will lock them up for us. One hotel actually had a "bike valet." Portland is the #1 bike town in the USA. We will be walking and riding to get around to different attractions -- I enjoy not having a car when in a city.

Jenny is meeting us in Portland, and will fly in at 10 PM, so I see no way to avoid using the hotel's parking on that night. Maybe we'll splurge and use the valet parking ($33). Perhaps the next day will all drive to Walmart, park and then ride back into the city. Current plan is three nights at the hotel, and longer if we are enjoying ourselves.



If I decided on a residential street, I'd talk to the local police first to make sure it would work and be safe.
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Old 05-31-2012, 10:07 AM   #19
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It looks like you will be using the Springwater Bike Corridor for much of your ride and the route to Milwaukie is essentially flat.

From Walmart direction you will pass Oaks Park, that is worth a stop if for no other reason to see the vintage rides. From time to time the 440 steam train engine is parked there.

Your next potential stop is the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. Then back to your hotel via the Hawthorne Bridge.

IF you want to bike the west hills remember that a MAX train accomodates several bikes. You could ride it to the Zoo stop, take the elevator to the surface and your world is down hill from there.

Enjoy your visit.
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Old 05-31-2012, 11:33 AM   #20
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Has anyone noticed that the "nicer" (more expensive) a hotel is, the less free things they give you?

No free breakfast, no free wifi, no free parking, things that come with no charge at many less expensive properties. You might recheck at the hotel and see if they are running any package specials. Sometimes you can get a better price when they bundle a few perks together and label it a "special rate". Also, if it's a chain with a loyalty program, joining the program can sometimes help with discounts.
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