Official price is set on downtown Amarillo parking garage entry fees

Official price is set on the new downtown Amarillo parking garage. (Photo by Kendra Hall ABC7)

The price to pay for parking in Amarillo's new downtown parking garage has been set at Wednesday's Local Government Corporation (LGC) meeting. The Amarillo City Council approved the ordinance in Tuesday night's meeting.

The LGC looked at parking garage pricing in other cities that are the size of Amarillo.

The downtown parking garage, hotel and multi-purpose event venue (MPEV) have been in the works for some time now. The garage is set to open in May.

"It came out of a study a few years ago and we compared it to other rates, cities our size and that's kind of what they came up with," said Randy Burkett, Amarillo City Council Member.

It will cost $2 for the first two hours and an additional $2, every two hours after that. For a day pass, it will be $7.

"For events, it will change," said Burkett. "We haven't nailed down a price yet, but if there's a baseball game across the street or something going on, we'll be able to adjust the rate with this software."

The LGC is considering a day of free parking. Councilman Burkett says it will likely be Tuesdays, as those are soft days for retail. It is estimated the parking garage could bring in $425,000 a year.

"If there's a shortfall and it doesn't make up the $425, then the backstop will be the hotel occupancy tax," said Burkett. "And if for some reason it is declined or there is no money there, then it will fall on the general fund."

Though some residents are not thrilled about the garage, Richard Morris says it is a nice option for more security, but he does not want to be forced to pay to park.

"It kind of takes away your freedom," said Morris, Amarillo Resident. "Before, you could park wherever you wanted and go from bar to bar or restaurant to restaurant."

Burkett says the city is discussing a type of parking meter for other areas around the garage. The meters would be operated through the driver's smart phone and spots can be reserved in advance through the application.

"There's 12,000 parking spaces in downtown and out of the 12,000, about 6,000 of those are owned privately, which we have no control over," said Burkett. "So people will have other options."

Burkett says it will be several months before the city gets serious about the meters. The hotel is set to open in September and as far as the MPEV, the city is still working on finding a baseball team.

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