Last summer saw the highest number of parking session and gross revenue from the Visitor Pay Parking Program in Town.
Many people were looking to escape from the isolation of the first lockdowns and return to something resembling normal. This drew a large number of people to Sylvan Lake to take in the waters and the lakefront area.
The Town says there were 50,731 parking sessions during the summer of 2020.
“Sylvan Lake was one of the locations that experienced large amounts of day-trippers and the Visitor Pay Parking stats reflected that,” a report to Council states.
Reflecting the increase of parking session, 2020 also brought in $252,478 gross revenue, the highest revenue the program has seen since its inception in 2017.
The report to council continued saying the net revenue from the program in 2020 was $165,537.
The goal of the program is to “educe the tax burden on residents by generating revenue from visitors to be used for the upkeep and maintenance of the downtown and to provide enhanced enforcement in the downtown.”
For 2021, the Town is making a few minor changes to the program. These include an increase in rates and a decrease in the hourly limits for on-street parking.
For summer 2021, parking rates are set to increase. The hourly rate will increase from $2/hour to $3/hour and daily rate from $10/day $15/day.
Late summer 2020 the Town was included on a mobile app used by the Cities of Calgary and Edmonton.
“With this [app], all visitors to Sylvan Lake have the option to download the Calgary or Edmonton app for their parking services and utilize the “Sylvan Lake Zone” on these existing apps.”
The hourly limit for on street parking in the downtown area will decrease to a maximum of two hours.
“We heard from businesses in the downtown that many people were staying longer than the allotted time, and just risking the ticket,” said Ron Lebsack, director of protective services.
The Town is also removing the area east of 33 Street from the Visitor Pay Parking Program by request from the residents and the Kennebeek Society.
Locals who have previously registered their vehicles in the program do not need to re-register. New residents, or if you have moved or bought a new car, will need to register for resident parking. This can be done through the Town’s website.
Visitor Pay Parking is in effect from May 15 to Sept. 15 every year.