CVG bumps up parking rates as it searches for overflow solutions

HEBRON, Ky. -- The Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport has a solution for its  parking woes, but a rate increase is looming for travelers leaving cars overnight.

CVG officials on Monday approved a $1 per day price hike across the board for its valet service, garage and ValuPark, or long-term lot, where rates have remained steady since 2012. Officials are also planning to open a new surface parking lot because ValuPark routinely reaches capacity amid local passenger growth.

Effective Jan. 3, long-term parking will cost $9 per day, up from $8 per day, while the garage, which is next to the terminal, will increase to $16 a day, versus $15. Officials also approved increases for valet at $25 per day, versus $24. Hourly rates are jumping for that service as well.

Although it's the first rate increase for long-term parking in six years, garage rates last jumped in 2013. Valet rates were most recently affected in December 2014.

The increases will generate about $4 million in additional revenue for the airport, CEO Candace McGraw said. CVG's rates are still competitive with -- and oftentimes lower than -- those of its regional counterparts, she added. Long-term parking, for example, cost $14 per day in Dayton, but just $7 per day in Lexington. Valet service, meanwhile, is also $25 per day in Cleveland and Indianapolis, but $20 per day in Dayton.

The airport is also opening a new lot in response to capacity constraints.

CVG will split an existing 4,400-space employee lot on Donaldson Road into two to create a branded "economy" lot. It will cost $6 per day, the lot will be credit card only, and shuttle service will run about every 15 minutes. Passengers also will be dropped off at the ground transportation center rather than the ticketing level.

CVG has maxed out ValuPark virtually every weekend since Memorial Day. Officials have been diverting traffic to the terminal garage, which can accommodate the overflow -- for now. Local passenger numbers are only projected to increase along with increased air service, so it's an unsustainable approach.

Any longer-term fixes -- like additional garage facilities or surface lots -- will require further study as part of the airport's master plan, which is getting a refresh through 2050.

"It's very important to us that we accommodate everyone," said Lisa Ransom, director of parking and ground transportation. "These are good problems to have."

CVG officials say the new economy lot is scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2018.

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