Local parking garage threatening to raise rates during RNC drops prices after I-Team visit

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CLEVELAND - A big downtown parking lot operator got a visit from the Fox 8 I-Team and now has backed off plans for a steep price increase for monthly customers surrounding the Republican National Convention.

The I-Team investigated a complaint about plans for price increases tied to the Convention by Metro Parking Systems. The special rates were outlined in notes left on cars at a lot commonly called “the pit” off West 3rd.

The parking lot told monthly customers the price would increase 3x to $100 in July due to the Convention. The notes also said daily rates would triple “during those 2 weeks” even though the Convention is only for four days.

So the I-Team went to see the company. A manager said monthly rates would also double at a Metro lot next to the FBI building. We asked how this could be considered fair to regular monthly customers? The manager said he thought it was fair since people were willing to pay big bucks to rent out the lots during the Convention. For those two lots, more than 1100 spaces.

However, shortly after we left, Metro Parking Systems decided there would be no price increases for monthly customers tied to the Convention. Wednesday afternoon, the company put new notices on cars apologizing. The notes also said the plan for the price increases was a mistake and a misunderstanding.

The I-Team also checked with another large downtown parking lot operator. He does not have plans to raise prices for monthly customers. Although it is very likely daily parking rates will soar during the week of the Convention.

Cleveland City Hall says rates will not change for its downtown garages.