View Full Version : How many parking spaces is enough?

05-01-2010, 10:13 PM
Hello again all.

I have been searching but no real luck yet.

Is there a formula you guys use to determine if you have enough parking spaces? I was going to guess that most cars will have 2-3 people in them, then I can work it out from there.

Does that sound right? Any other ideas?


Front Yard Fright
05-01-2010, 10:51 PM
I may be wrong, but I think there are codes for the number of parking spots you need to have depending on your expected attendence.

05-02-2010, 01:12 AM
How long will it take to go thru the haunt?Faster throughput means faster turn over in the parking lot.The longer customers will be at your event the more parking you need.If it takes 30 min you can only park 2 cars per hour in that 1 space.

RJ Productions
05-02-2010, 01:18 AM
Yep, local jurisdictions take presidence and vary. Business licences for properties will require certain number of spaces dependant upon how the business is listed. If you are in an industrial area that has a number of daytime businesses you can probably get the spaces attributed to the day time businesses to go into your count. You just have to show that you are open when they are closed.

Some places go strictly on square footage, some strictly on the type of business, some you can't even figure the formula (sort of the old..." because I said so" mentality!)

Good luck!

Jim Warfield
05-02-2010, 01:20 AM
Sure, they be out there, cruising, looking for a landing spot.
What about motorcycle parking, that's a different requirement, keeping them away from other traffic so they don't get knocked down.
Having a hard surface to park on, even after it rains all day is a nice thing to have going for your business too.
Substantial fencing with reflectors helps keep people from accidently driving over the cliff here.
Not allowing semis to park during business hours when other businesses expect their customers to be parking helps too.
Of course the city can't really complain about my stuff when the City has perminently "parked" their Santa House in a corner 90 feet away from the front of my house for the last several years, on the parking lot.
The Vet parks his confinment cage on-wheels infront of my wall/billboard, it has no paint left on the Vet's trailer and is dripping with manure and he parks it there because the city put a load of gravel there for him to have a parking place?

Jim Warfield
05-02-2010, 01:23 AM
That old, "I said so" crap should have ended with the Magna charta, instead it got much worse.

05-02-2010, 08:04 AM
Lets see...

You will need ATLEAST one more than you plan to have..... lol

05-03-2010, 05:30 AM
Thats right, Disney has a VP of parking lots. Maybe you should hire one, too. Or take the title yourself. I was amazed to find out at a business seminar that Disney had a VP of parking lots.

Disney found through research that if the "people mover" driver would announce three times the name of the lot the guests had just been picked up from, then Disney had a huge decrease in the number of guests they had to give rides through all the parkking lots to find lost cars.

Three times mentions in advertising seems to follow the same theory.

I know that this is of very little help but hey, left field is where these threads end up sometimes. LOL

Years ago I went with some friends to Niles Michigan to the Scream Park and was blown away when we pulled in to park. They had a few acres for parking and about ten people doing nothing but parking lot duty very similar to concerts. I was jealous!!

05-05-2010, 12:34 AM
Well seeing that we are at a new location this year, predicting attendance numbers and throughput is gonna be tough.

How about this, have you guys noticed an average number of people per car? Is my guess of 3 sound about right?

Thanks for the feedback.


05-05-2010, 09:52 PM
Cluster, I usually base it on 2 or 3 people per car. I prefer to go with 2/car, and I plan from that.

Also, as far as codes and regualtions... here's what we dealt with:

Per Louisiana codes: A building zoned a B2 (which is light industrial) requires 1 parking spot per 100 sq.ft. interior space accompanying the location. You can problem get away with what RJ Productions said, and team up with other businesses close by and see if you can use their parking lots. It all depends on your working relationships with the city officials, and the people who make the final decisions for you.

The location we are in now does not have the proper amount of parking, but with our relationships with the fire marshalls and city officials, we were able to pull it off for last year and this year.

Allen H
05-05-2010, 10:49 PM
Its all about throughput
How long will they have to wait to get tickets?
How long in line to get in the haunt?
How long to go through?
How long to recover then leave?
That is how long a parking spot will be used, making those times shorter will help you get more use out of your parking lot. Two per car is good to use as a figure.
There are two ways to do it by the season or by your busiest night.
If you expect 10,000 guests in a season, and you are open 10 nights at 5 hours per night that is 50 hours to park 5,000 cars (two per car).
That says you need a lot that will park 100 cars. The way haunt attendance builds exponentially towards the end of the season that figure is no where near enough cars on your busy nights. My theory is that business doubles each weekend until the weekend before Halloween, thats (normally) my busiest weekend and its a big chunk of my business.
Thats 3,000 people in one night or 1500 spots, if they had to use them all night. If they only need to be there for an hour then divide 1500 by the number of hours you are open (lets say five)
So thats three hundred spots.
Boy can I take a long time to say something simple. Take your busiest night last year and cut that number of people in half (two per car). Then divide that number by how many hours you are open that night.
That should be about right...clear as mud? Thats how I try to figure it out anyway Im sure others wiser than I will help too. dont forget to add people for growth when your figuring out spots especially if your in your first few years.
Allen H

extreme evil
08-01-2010, 02:15 PM
I don't know about anyone else, but, that really did help me. Thanks alot.