Hopkins parking rate increase now in effect

CLEVELAND - If you traveled on one of the busiest travel days of the year last week, you may have noticed a rate increase while parking at Cleveland Hopkins Airport.

The increase of $1, is the first in years, with the added revenue going toward improvements in and around the airport.

Another goal? Making the facility more attractive for more airline carriers to move in.

Airport traveler Anne Skowronski noticed the change last week.

"I was just here last Wednesday or Tuesday and it went up a dollar. But it's still cheaper than the other places and much more convenient."

The rate hike went into effect on Thanksgiving.

For example, it was once $17 to park inside the Smart Parking garage attached to the terminal building via skywalk. That will now cost $18 a day.

The cheapest lot to park is the brown lot at $9 daily.

Interim Airport Director Fred Szabo says the rate hike was long overdue, with rates here much lower than other airport lots throughout the country.

"If you look at any airport either close to Hopkins or nationally, we were well below the national average."

The additional revenue, estimated to be just around a million dollars annually, will go into the airport's operating budget.

The airport has already undergone major improvements in recent months, to the tune of $36 million. Changes included an updated terminal facade, security checkpoints and parking signage.