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Complaint about parking at the Westin

Hi - I accidentally left this out of the survey that I had submitted.

I arrived on Thursday at about 9:30am and the sign in front of the Westin's garage said the garage was full. I spent an hour driving around the city looking for parking. I ended up giving up and asking the valet what the cost of valet parking was. But when I told him I was with the convention he sent me into the garage for self parking.

I am not sure what kind of system was being set up here...it seemed to be forbidding anybody except attendees from using the garage, but discouraging even the con attendees themselves. I lost a lot of time and had many friends who ended up overpaying for parking because they thought the garage was full and it wasn't, all because of a fraudulent sign. Talk about frustrating.

I just don't understand why this was done - an explanation would really put me at ease.

Thanks.

Comments

( 34 comments — Leave a comment )
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keesar
Jul. 4th, 2008 04:55 am (UTC)
I went back to the hotel Monday night to visit with a friend who was leaving tuesday morning and got to park in the hotel garage then, it appeared that nearly an entire level was taped off and unusable..

Perhaps some sort of deal can be made with the convention center parking? I had to pay over $80 to park there over the weekend :(
d_bandit
Jul. 4th, 2008 05:03 am (UTC)
The lady at the hotel desk told me that their 1/2 price coupons weren't being accepted at the Convention Center Ramp but that they had a half off sale anyway! Why did you have to pay full price? You should check into that. Seems like you may have over payed by $40. :(
(no subject) - skanrashke - Jul. 4th, 2008 06:03 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - cornwalldragon - Jul. 4th, 2008 11:11 am (UTC) - Expand
d_bandit
Jul. 4th, 2008 05:00 am (UTC)
Likewise... When I saw the Lot Full sign, I checked with the desk and they confirmed that the hotel garage was full. The lady behind the desk suggested that I park in the Convention center ramp instead. Well, that was also had a full sign! I drove around a bit but all the close by lots also had full signs. I just went for broke and pulled into the hotel garage anyway, figuring that maybe I could just find one lonely spot someplace down there and at worst, I'd have to drive out again to continue my search. Well, once I got down there, I found a spot right next to the elevators! Not only that, one car over from me and there were 3 more empty spots! I didn't drive around searching but I am guessing that there were a lot more empty spots! I have no idea why they would put up the sign when it wasn't true. You would think they could keep better track of how many cars were down there.
skippyfox
Jul. 4th, 2008 05:04 am (UTC)
Yes. This, and the fact that the valet told me to use the garage despite the "full" sign, is why I believe it was simply there to scare everyone off. I just don't see how that could be an advantage. To anybody. Ever.
(no subject) - taren_ - Jul. 4th, 2008 05:15 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - skippyfox - Jul. 4th, 2008 03:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
anthrocoon
Jul. 4th, 2008 07:05 am (UTC)
but again, does the conv ctr garage offer a discount to Con attendees? First
yr in Pitt. I parked at the conv ctr garage and it seemed expensive when I
went to pay for it (a real live person, not a machine) and I think I tried
to explain I was at the Con, etc. But last year I parked at the Westin
garage and found I could use the discount. (I was at the Westin in 06 and
07 and the Omni this yr). See below for what I paid at the Omni lot and also
11th and Smallman...btw I don't know if they eventually charge people for
the 11th and Smallman lot on Sundays--I got there very early--but hopefully
it was free for the whole day. And it was not a far walk to the CC.
kai_wulf
Jul. 4th, 2008 05:17 am (UTC)
We had a sport bike in the back of our truck and so obviously wanted to keep it as out of sight as possible. I had to run out to the airport thursday night to pick up some more people, only to come back to the full sign. I went in and spoke with the manager, and after going through a couple people and explaining we had a very expensive bike with us and had been parked underneath before they let me back down in the garage, just to find that there was TONS of space. Now, I know they share parking space with the Office building thats attached, so they may have to keep that available for them.

I will say they need to make parking arrangements better and do something with the rates, make con attendees more aware of the coupons and devise a reentry system as well
rysar
Jul. 4th, 2008 05:23 am (UTC)
I too went to unload and was told to park in the Convention Center... since I have status with the hotel, I talked to the Valet people directly, and was told that they were only allowing Starwood Platinum people to park in the hotel lot... They came and got my truck and parked it in the hotel... so I dunno what the parking situation was. I only paid $22 a day to park in the hotel versus who knows what it would be in the Convention center lot.
fox_cub
Jul. 4th, 2008 05:40 am (UTC)
We had that problem a few times. I moved the cone, drove in, and found the garage half full both times. So, yeah I'm not sure what the deal was.

Edited at 2008-07-04 05:40 am (UTC)
guyver47
Jul. 4th, 2008 05:47 am (UTC)
I also had one of the 50% off tickets I asked one of the Westin hotel staff for when I checked in. When I paid for my parking late Sunday evening, the pay station gave me a "too much rebate" error and I got stuck with the full $70.
artie_p
Jul. 4th, 2008 06:11 am (UTC)
I arrived at the Westin on Wednesday morning at some point around 11:30 or so, and saw the sign stating that the garage was full. Right away before going anywhere else or even getting out of the car I asked one of the folks out front if it was actually full or what, and if I recall correctly he asked me if I was with a group/convention or whatever. I told him Anthrocon and he said to just drive down to the second level and there was parking for us. Drove down there and there was a ton of free spaces. Some of y'all may remember seeing the blue Corolla with the tag "ARTIE P" right next to the elevator. :P

I'm glad I didn't head out to go anywhere during the con though, because some of the comments make it sound like they actually blocked it off with a cone at some point to discourage entry at all? I always like to arrive and not drive anywhere until I'm heading back home.

Anyway, dunno why they actually had that sign up. My own story is above, glad I just asked when I got there.

EDIT: Also, the 50% off for the hotel garage was applied with no problems. Knocked it down from $120 to $60 (Parked for 5 days 21 hours). As for not knowing about the 50% off for Anthrocon guests parked in the hotel garage, the information on the Anthrocon site is right under the Travel section, and then Parking - http://www.anthrocon.org/parking . It says there that "... guests of the Westin will be given a coupon that will give them a rate of $10 per night, good in the Westin parking garage only." What you need to do is ask for it at the front desk. I got my coupon when I checked in. Then again, this was my third year in the Westin, so I knew from previous years about asking for it. Perhaps it needs to be added to the web site that you specifically need to ask for the 50% coupon it if you want/need it.

Edited at 2008-07-04 06:18 am (UTC)
anthrocoon
Jul. 4th, 2008 07:00 am (UTC)
On Thu when I went in to the Con to check in/get my Conbook, etc.,
I used the lot at 11th and Smallman, not far away ($4 flat fee). That night,
I stayed at a motel nr the airport to save money. The next day I knew I'd
be in the Omni the next 2 nights so I parked in the garage across the street
(lowest level underneath!) I knew I'd have to move it Sunday due to the race.

By Sunday morning, I left there and paid about $18.75 in total, and I
went back to 11th and Smallman. No attendant there. Free, free, free on
Sunday! I left the 'coonmobile there till 7 pm when Closing Ceremonies
ended, then headed back to the motel nr the airport (again, to save money
and be near the airport) and it was easy to get on the major highways
from there.

So that tended to work out. I think the Omni lot I mentioned above
worked out to $13 or so for the Fri-to Sat, but the next day was at
the $5 weekend rate...thus the $18 or so, and it was neat to see
the 11th and Smallman lot was free on Sundays!
xydexx
Jul. 4th, 2008 04:07 pm (UTC)
I didn't pay anything for parking...
I was directed to the lot on Smallman and 11th after hours on Wednesday. The gate was up, so I drove in and parked there until Monday at no charge.
Re: I didn't pay anything for parking... - anthrocoon - Jul. 5th, 2008 11:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
canid_anubis
Jul. 4th, 2008 09:09 am (UTC)
The line at the bottom of the sign said to see the Valet if you were staying there, or something to that effect.
We arrived at 10am on Thurs and talked to the valet for a sec, and like you, he said just drive past it.
balloonpup
Jul. 4th, 2008 10:18 am (UTC)
Yeah, I got the same run-around -- they said it was full and directed me to the convention center lot. Always good -- Wednesday - Monday parking: $100 >.
hyperx
Jul. 4th, 2008 12:15 pm (UTC)
Seems like the AC Staff have some parking issues to work out!

Those parking rates are outrageous ;\ the 1/2 price makes it manageable but seriously... I am have heard 2 consistent stories about AC.

1) Parking was confusing and over priced. Info did not match what happened.
2) Hotel was surprising people with deposits and a 50$ too dirty cleaning fee.

Furries tend to live VERY Paw to Muzzle so surprise con expenses are not a good thing.
antimon
Jul. 4th, 2008 06:05 pm (UTC)
the deposites should be of no surprize and every hotel charges excessive cleaning fee's so that also should be no surprize, nor if you keep your room reasonably clean (and tip the house-keeping staff) should it ever be a problem for most people. Our hosue keeper even gavce us a huge trash bag to make her life easier, and I had no problems (so far)

Most con hotels are charging for parking now, the simpel solution is don
t bring yoru car to teh con, relaly no reason to, or park ti off site and use a taxi or shuttle, probably cheaper in the long run
firehopper
Jul. 4th, 2008 01:17 pm (UTC)
I parked under the convention center, and was told they didn't take the 1/2 off coupon, which the guy with the room didn't get anyway.. so I paid $80.. so now what? I'm stuck?

tyrrlin
Jul. 4th, 2008 02:10 pm (UTC)
...you mean the sign wasn't true???

Y'see, I actually read and believe when signs are posted like that. chefmongoose (Chiaroscuro) and I wound up parking several streets away in an open lot and hoofing our stuff (and my supplies/suit/Art show entries weighed a TON) back to the hotel in two trips.

I am seriously peeved if there actually WAS parking available and we were duped. That's a bit much.
xyloart
Jul. 4th, 2008 02:54 pm (UTC)
I asked at the front desk if there was a discount for parking if you were staying in the hotel and they said no. :(
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