Paying to Park

Dan Snyder, eat your heart out!

Ever since 1997, when I first started coming to Daytona for the 500 weekend, the cost of parking in private lots across from the track has been jacked up by $5 to $10 each year. I think we paid about $10 or $15 the first year on the day of the 500. Last year we paid either $50 or $60. It's usually a dime less on Busch race days.

This morning I stopped and sweet-talked a nice lot operator into letting me park for a half an hour in his lot so I could say hello to my racing buddies. His lot was asking 60 bucks a pop for the day. I saw a $50 lot right next door at the Uno's Restaurant and Ramada Inn just by the corner of Bill France Blvd., where I found my friends, Joe Pagels and his sister Debbie Cusato. They'd found a spot at the Volusia Mall for $40, still pretty steep.

Debbie and Joe commiserated on the price of the parking over beer, burgers and Bloody Mary's. I couldn't hang long with them, but I'm going to spend tonight with them to talk about old times and make some new memories. I'll post on that tomorrow. I'll double-check the parking prices again in the morning. Can we hit $75?

I hope this post doesn't give Mr. Snyder (no relation, by the way) any ideas.


Breakfast anyone? Here's a shot of two members of my "race family," Joe Pagels and Debbie Cusato. (Mike Snyder - washingtonpost.com)

You can read about my first trip to Daytona with Joe in a lengthy feature I wrote before I came down to blog this year.

By Mike Snyder |  February 18, 2006; 5:36 PM ET  | Category:  Daytona Scene
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Volusia Mall used to provide free parking. Once they realized how they were being screwed out of shopper traffic and parking revenue at the same time they balked. Just one of them things.

Posted by: pjs | February 19, 2006 07:52 AM

I thought I'd heard that. I know we always tried to get here by 6 a.m. on race day to get a decent spot.

Posted by: | February 19, 2006 09:14 AM

It is the same on Bike Week.I am tired of getting ripped off on motel room prices,so I just quit going to Daytona.The money I save I can go else where.They don't care if the average guy comes to the races or bike week,that leaves more space for the hollwood types.Just my two cents.

Posted by: ken kalustian | February 19, 2006 05:30 PM

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