The sun is blazing, the temperatures are rising, and the asphalt is glowing: many people seek to cool off at lakes or leisure pools on hot summer days. But for the operators of the bathing facilities and their parking lots, this presents a challenge.
Challenges for Operators of Bathing Facilities
Great Pressure Due to Seasonality
The bathing season is usually short, with the turnover of outdoor pools and bathing lakes mainly generated during the summer months. Operators are, therefore, under great pressure to run the facility profitably. The short time must be used in the best possible way and operations must be managed as efficiently as possible.
High activity and visitor numbers in the summer months are manageable, but as soon as the weather changes, the situation looks very different. When it rains or the temperatures drop, the parking spaces remain empty or are used by walkers or other drivers. Meanwhile, the bathing facilities suffer from the lack of visitors and cannot generate revenue from the alternative use of the parking spaces.
High Traffic Volume at Peak Times
Many bathers start their bathing day early in the afternoon and make their way home again shortly before sunset. As a result, there is a particularly high volume of traffic entering and leaving the parking areas of the outdoor pools and bathing lakes at precisely these times.
Searching in vain for a parking space, queues at the parking barriers and long waits at the parking machines can spoil guests' swimming pleasure. If third-party parkers such as campers or strollers occupy the parking spaces, this reduces the available spaces and prolongs the search for a parking space.
This rush is not always pleasant for municipalities and bathing facility managers either, as vehicles are sometimes parked directly on the roadside or in green areas not approved for parking.
Another challenge is the shortage of skilled personnel. The search for qualified personnel is very difficult for bathing facilities. Therefore, it often happens that bathing facilities are severely understaffed and employees have to perform many different activities. Managing parking lots, helping with lost parking tickets, and fixing broken hardware are just some of the responsibilities of personnel.
Occupation of Parking Spaces by External Parkers
Challenges also arise from the users of parking spaces who occupy the spaces for long periods of time or who use the parking lot but do not visit the outdoor pool. If the parking spaces are not controlled, these third-party parkers can use the parking spaces for any length of time, blocking them for visitors to the outdoor pool, but without generating revenue. This prevents additional economic income for the operators of the bathing facilities, who lose potential paying customers due to the unavailable parking spaces. Due to the lack of capacity, in most cases, there is no control and tracking of third-party parkers. For more information on how to avoid parking violations, read the blog article Avoiding Parking Violations.
Parking Concepts for Swimming Pools and Bathing Lakes
In order to utilize parking facilities year-round and provide guests with a relaxing swimming day and satisfying experience while conserving staff resources, parking concepts are needed to efficiently manage parking and traffic in parking areas at swimming lakes and recreational pools.
We show you how parking operators can get a grip on parking chaos at peak times with little cost and effort, and at the same time generate additional revenue with their parking spaces.
Digital Parking Management for Outdoor Pools and Swimming Lakes
One particularly effective way to make parking management at bathing lakes and swimming pools more profitable and customer-friendly is to use digital solutions that enable automated access control entirely without parking barriers.
Advantages of Digital Parking Management
Higher Sales Potential Due to Year-Round Revenue
Operators of outdoor pools and bathing lakes have the opportunity to generate new revenue opportunities through digital parking management. The prices for the parking process can be individually adapted to different customer groups, e.g. daily but also season tickets can be configured. If, in addition, a service with tracking of illegal parkers is selected, third-party parkers are avoided without further costs or personnel expenditure, and additional revenue is generated through tracking. Since the parking management system operates twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, and thus also runs outside the operating hours of the bathing facility, this can likewise lead to increased turnover. This reduces the high weather and seasonality of bathing operations.
View All Data through a Simple Dashboard
Data transparency is ensured by the central availability of all parking transaction data in the dashboard of the parking management system from Peter Park. This means that information on the utilization of the parking area can always be viewed, and visitor flows, peak times, and other trends can be identified in order to effectively control parking management.
Payment can also be viewed via the tool. Operators also have an up-to-date overview of all parking areas and their utilization can define various tariffs such as day tickets or hourly tickets and link their offers with various tourism cards and discounts. Parking permits can also be issued digitally, making it much easier to manage access for employees, suppliers, and repair work, and enabling free parking for certain groups or people.
Automatic license plate recognition means that the flow of traffic does not get bogged down when entering and exiting the parking area, even at peak times, as drivers no longer have to stop in front of a barrier to pull out or redeem a parking ticket. Finding a parking space is simplified by a smooth flow of traffic and payment by cashless and contactless payment options such as NFC, which means significantly less hassle when parking.
Visitors can also manage their parking stay even more straightforwardly using a parking app such as EasyPark or Parkster, which additionally simplifies the parking process and makes it even more expeditious. Since parking tickets are superfluous thanks to digital parking management, they cannot be lost either. This saves guests high costs due to lost payments. The entire parking process runs smoothly and pleasantly, and guests can start their day at the baths relaxed and finally make their way home well-rested.
The Eigenbetrieb Tourismus und Bäder of the city of Varel has already had a very positive experience with the Peter Park system: "As a busy resort, we feel an obligation to our guests to make their stay with us as pleasant as possible - this also includes a convenient and seamless parking experience. Especially at peak times, we want to use the digital parking system to ensure an effective and smooth flow of traffic without traffic jams and long queues at the ticket machine." says Johann Taddigs from the tourism and baths enterprise of the city of Varel.
Fewer Parking Violations and Relief for Personnel
Long-term parkers, campers, or other third-party parkers are identified by license plate recognition as soon as the maximum parking time is exceeded and are automatically tracked if desired. As a result, the parking space remains free for bathers and on-site staff do not have to deal with complaint management.
Higher Profitability through Lower Costs
By implementing a digital barrier-free parking management system, costs for maintenance, repair, and control personnel are eliminated. Likewise, downtime due to defective barriers or ticket vending machines is avoided, as barriers and tickets are replaced by the implementation of ANPR technology and the digital management system. The low-maintenance hardware of the Peter Park system is significantly less expensive to purchase and maintain, and also reduces your power consumption. It also eliminates the need for staff patrols of the parking area, as tickets for parking violations are automatically generated and tracked. The operating costs of the parking area are thus effectively reduced, while additional revenue potential is tapped.
Enabling Cashless Payment
Cashless payment for visitors helps to shorten the queues when paying at vending machines. If contactless payment is used, for example, the payment process takes an average of five seconds less. App-based payment eliminates the need to go to the vending machine altogether.
Another advantage is that no parking tickets need to be purchased in advance; the parking process is only terminated when the user leaves the area. This allows bathers to completely relax and focus on their visit. They do not have to remember to buy a new paper ticket and place it behind the windshield of their car. This increases the satisfaction of the bathers, who may stay longer and are more likely to come back.
Improved Markings and Signage
Better signage and markings in the parking area offer visitors better orientation and unnecessary traffic is avoided by making extra laps. This in turn shortens congestion and waiting times and thus contributes to a reduction in exhaust gases.
Possible improvements may consist of:
- If lane and directional markings do not yet exist, they should be drawn as a matter of urgency to direct traffic on the area.
- Clear signage with information about where the parking machine is located and information about the parking area at the entrance can direct traffic and people flows.
Operators and Visitors of Outdoor Pools and Bathing Lakes Benefit from Digital Parking Solutions
Especially in the summer months, operators of parking areas at bathing lakes need good parking concepts to cope with the crowds. There are various ways to do this, such as providing additional parking space, improving signage, automatic license plate recognition, and cashless payment. In most cases, a strong concept includes a combination of the methods presented.
However, modern technologies in digital parking management are crucial for overcoming these challenges. They also offer parking operators many significant benefits, such as increased profitability, reduced costs and staffing, and low-maintenance hardware, while bathers benefit above all from time savings and a congestion-free and seamless parking process.
Peter Park is a digital parking system that eliminates the need for parking tickets, barriers, and parking discs. Peter Park System GmbH transforms parking lots into mobility hubs by providing parking lot operators and municipalities with automatic license plate recognition and cloud-based management software. The system from Munich was launched in 2019 and is already available in Germany and Austria.