Dozens of new preferred parking stalls for owners of a specific luxury vehicle brand are garnering mixed reviews at the Edmonton International Airport.
Lexus has purchased 30 reserved parking stalls inside the parkade at EIA. The stalls, which are reserved for Lexus owners only, are located in prime locations near the pedway and elevators.
The reserved spots have received some criticism from airport customers who say the move is elitist and worry they may take away accessible parking stalls or spots for parents with small children.
However, the airport maintains no accessible spots were removed in order to make way for the Lexus-reserved stalls.
“Absolutely not. We take a huge amount of pride in being one of the most accessible airports in the country, so we have not moved any of our handicapped parking stalls. They’re still there, they’re still in the same place, they have not been relocated. Same spots, same number (of spots),” Heather Hamilton, EIA spokesperson, said Monday.
“They were regular parking stalls before and they have now been turned into reserved parking for Lexus owners.”
EIA has 13,000 parking stalls, 2,200 of which are located inside the parkade.
The contract between Lexus and EIA runs until March 2017 with the potential for extension. Lexus of Edmonton said the decision was a way to offer a unique experience to Lexus owners in the city.
“What we look to do is offer Lexus drivers a great ownership experience. So it is the amenities that we offer in the dealership and now finding ways to offer great amenities to them outside of the dealership as well,” Matt Miller, GM of Lexus of Edmonton, said.
“Our guests have loved it,” he added. “It’s been wonderful, it’s been a real positive experience. I’ve gotten many texts, right when it opened, of some of our clients asking, ‘I see the preferred parking, can I park there?'”
EIA said it is open to similar contracts with other vehicle brands.
The airport said it has used the money from the contract to purchase new digital signage to help travellers better find their way through the facility.