On Aug. 11, the Vintage Faire Mall in Modesto introduced a paid parking program called Front & Center Parking at its busiest entrance, The Modesto Bee reported.
There are 200 parking spaces designated in the “assisted valet service” area of the mall, and customers can park all day for $5, the newspaper reported.
It deviates from traditional valet service, because while the attendant takes the customer’s money, the driver parks his or her own car.
"Over Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, we're typically at capacity for parking, or close to it," Vintage Faire Mall Marketing Manager Annie Amies told the Bee. "We just wanted to make it more convenient to shoppers who maybe didn't want to look around the parking lot for spaces. It's another service and amenity we thought shoppers would enjoy."
Handicapped and electric vehicle charging spaces will remain free, the Bee reported. The service will remain in effect through Dec. 31, and while few drivers have taken advantage, it may become more popular during the holiday shopping season.
"For today, I figured it would be good because it gets packed on the weekends," shopper Teresa Souza told the Bee on Saturday. "It made things a lot easier."
Some of the mall tenants were not happy with the arrangement.
“This used to be the busiest entrance at the mall and now there are 20 cars parked there,” said Jeff Klotz, who runs a kiosk inside the mall near the premium parking entrance.
The Modesto mall is owned by Macerich, which owns and operates major retail real estate properties. Another mall owned by Macerich, the Freehold Raceway Mall in New Jersey, opened a similar service in July, NJ.com reported.