CAPE CORAL, Fla. - Some people are upset about valet parking taking over previously free spots to park at a Cape Coral beach.
WINK News told you Thursday The Boathouse restaurant opened for business at the Cape Coral Yacht Club. With it comes optional valet parking.
The valet parking is taking over almost 50 spots in the parking lot in front of the new restaurant.
The Boathouse says this is in an effort to fix the parking problems the Yacht Club had all along. But some people say you should not make people pay to park at a city park.
If you want to park in the lot in front of The Boathouse, get out your wallet. "I heard a couple people on my way in this morning commenting 'this is ridiculous. I'm not coming here as much as I am,'" said Frank Camp.
It's three dollars Monday through Thursday and five dollars Friday through Sunday.
"It should be free to the people that are down here. It should be free to the local people," said Cape Coral resident Stasia Kowalski.
If you don't want to pay, you can hunt for a spot along the Yacht Club beach or by the tennis courts. But Kowalski says when it's busy, that's sometimes impossible. "I don't know how they're going to manage the parking. There isn't enough parking as it is!"
General Manager Mickey Ferry says the parking problem is nothing new. "We didn't cause the parking problem," he said. "It's existed probably for 20 years."
He says the valet parking is a solution. It's available to anyone, not just people who want to eat here, and with it, he's able to increase the amount of parking spots.
"In essence the valet people can double the parking in an area by the way they park the cars through valet," Ferry said. "We're ajusting on a daily basis to try to make this work as best we can."
"In the months when the northerners are here it's bad," said Laverne Richards. "In retrospect, I would like to have a nice place to park when I come to eat! So I'll pay the three bucks. No big problem."
A lot of people say they are glad The Boathouse is here, but say the city has to do something about the parking.
The valet parking is on a trial run for 60 days, at the end , The Boathouse and the city will get together and find out what changes, if any, need to happen.