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Letter: WNY needs to reconsider how region markets itself

WNY needs to reconsider how region markets itself

I, too, attended “The Lion King” held at Shea’s this holiday season. I saw the high-priced lots near the theater, shook my head and moved on. Parking about a quarter-mile away, the charge was $5. Most likely those who paid these exorbitant fees were people who cannot walk far or well, the handicapped, elderly and least able to pay.

This seems to be a widespread Buffalo problem and it’s not confined to the Theater District. When the NCAA basketball tournament was held here, same complaint by visitors. Price gouging at the parking lots.

This gives Buffalo a bad name. You want people to come here, spend their money on hotels, restaurants and other area attractions, then nail them for parking. People read TripAdvisor and other web-based review sources to plan where they will spend their hard-earned discretionary income. Many will maximize the trip by visiting Niagara Falls, Buffalo Naval Park, Teddy Roosevelt Inaugural Site, the Pierce Arrow Auto Museum, the Anchor Bar, etc., thereby lengthening their stay and spending more money in Western New York. Here we get nice events like the NCAA tournament, the Junior Hockey tournament and the USS Little Rock commissioning event to draw people to the area and this happens.

Imagine if we had a football stadium downtown? The price of parking would approach or exceed the cost of the ticket with four times the number of people as for the KeyBank Center. Go figure! That is another sordid story entirely.

The entire manner in which Western New York markets itself needs to be rethought. Lastly, one of the largest groups with discretionary income to spend on these events are retirees, but New York State chases them to Florida, South Carolina, Texas and Arizona with high property and income taxes to spend their money there! After all this, parking price policies are only symptomatic of the region’s more significant problems.

William Knab


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