Vinoy Hotel could ease parking problems in downtown St. Pete

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA)- A hotel is looking to alleviate some of the parking issues in downtown St. Petersburg.

Owners of The Vinoy Resort and Golf Club announced they are adding an additional 270 parking spaces to their property, and these improvements won’t involve taxpayer money and will not alter the hotel’s footprint or St. Petersburg’s waterfront parks system.

“It’s needed because of all the big events at the Vinoy, everyone who comes to the restaurants at the Vinoy, which are open to the public and the hotel itself, it’s needed for added parking, so we don’t overflow into the surrounding neighborhoods,” said Kyle Parks with The Vinoy Resort and Golf Club.

The parking spots will be available for hotel guests, attendees of the hotel’s events and people in the community who use The Vinoy’s facilities, along with diners who visit the hotel’s restaurants, which are open to the public. The parking garage will also assist nearby residents, alleviating some congestion and parking on the streets in front of their homes.

“We’ve seen a real need for more parking. We’re excited about the opportunity to do this project, which won’t involve taxpayer money,” said Parks.

Due to project’s location, the garage must be approved in a citywide referendum, which will be held in November.

Hal Freedman and Willi Rodowsky live at Bayfront Tower on Beach Drive and say the congestion is constant.

“In the evening, weekends, it’s particularly bad. You can’t find a spot and people looking for spots slow down the traffic along Beach Drive,” said Freedman.

Chuck Prather, the owner of another hotel, The Birchwood, said limited parking can sometimes be frustrating for his guests.

“There is so much volume of traffic that happens here, not just on the weekends anymore, but all week long,” said Prather. “To have an extra almost 300 parking spaces right in the heart of downtown is fabulous.”

Freedman and Rodowsky tell us they plan to vote “Yes” on the referendum.

“There’s no cost to us if they win. It’s kind of a no-brainer,” said Rodowsky.

The public will have a chance to comment on the referendum before it’s approved. City council members are expected to vote on the referendum in August before it goes on the ballot.

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