Saturday, August 29, 2009

Scene This Week In…

Many moons ago, when The Rouse Company assigned me their mall in Tampa, one of my charges was to manage a parking issue. The mall was located directly across the street from the old Tampa Stadium which was the home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers football team. Whenever the team played at home, many fans would opt to park for free in the mall parking lot as opposed to paying for parking in the stadium lots. This resulted in a packed mall parking lot on game days. It also infuriated some of the merchants who insisted that mall management do something about it. By the time I arrived on the scene, they were on Plan Z.

I have to admit that I had trouble empathizing with the merchants. This particular “problem” only occurred on four Sundays a year (this was back in the eight game regular season days). Before the games, the mall itself was jammed with food vendors doing a brisk business. Granted, during the game, the mall was empty and anyone arriving to shop probably had difficulty finding a parking spot but I felt that the merchants were missing the point.

The trick is to capitalize on that traffic. Hold events or sales right after the game to entice those fans and their money back into the mall.
I thought of this story when I saw this sign at the Wilde Lake Shopping Center this week. According to this story by Jennifer Broadwater in the Columbia Flier, Howard Community College fall enrollment at the school is “up 10 percent in head count from fall 2008.”

“Since 2000, the college's enrollment has increased about 50 percent, according to Barbara Greenfeld, HCC's associate vice president for enrollment services.

But this year's enrollment growth is particularly large, with 8,355 credit-seeking students registered.”

This has inevitably led to a parking issue that has resulted in overflow parking being directed to the struggling Wilde Lake Village Center. Hopefully, the remaining merchants at Wilde Lake can figure out ways to capitalize on this traffic.
The other day, as I was sitting at the traffic light at Montgomery Road and Waterloo Road in Ellicott City, I happened to glance at the dry cleaner located across the road. I must’ve driven by this place a million times but until this week I never studied the window sign very closely.

When I did, I laughed out loud.

So ladies, next time you need to clean up your man, now you know where to take him.


Jim Binckley said...

Gotta bust you on this one Dennis. Tampa bay entered the NFL in 1976 and played a 14 game regular season schedule, as well as 4 pre-season games. So that's 9 home games. In 1978 the league expanded it's schedule to 16 games, and again another 4 pre-season games. That format of now 10 home games remains to this day. Now I know why I can't get a Ravens ticket out of you think the season is over.

wordbones said...


Busted. Duly noted.
Regarding tickets, I lost my contact for the owners sky box.


Anonymous said...

Old news. That satellite parking issue was undertaken many months ago, not just beginning with this fall term.

The concept of using village centers as satellite parking to meet the proposed parking-deficient design of a much, much denser Town Center was raised a while ago, specifically mentioning both WL and OM VCs. But just as relying on satellite parking for a too-dense Town Center isn't a step in the right direction, thankfully, the college does more sensibly plan to add additional parking garage capacity at some point to rightly accomodate its parking needs on campus, thereby alleviating their students, their employees, and the public of this satellite parking's additional inconveniences, commute delays, and costs (a sum possibly over $120k/yr for the dedicated bus shuttles to it, HCC Café meal vouchers given to employees to encourage use of this satellite parking, fees paid to the VC for its' lot's use, and other costs).