MIAMI (CBSMiami) – We’ve all been there before, you’re at a crowded mall during the holiday season, going round-and-round the parking lot looking for a spot.
Maybe you valet park, give up and leave, or get lucky and find a spot right up front.
Now, a Miami-based company is taking the luck out of it, and helping people park faster.
“It’s extremely frustrating when you go around and around and around. unless you wanna park about five miles away,” said driver Lisa Duncan.
Drivers spend an average of 17 hours a year looking for a parking spot.
The parking lot wars are often at their worst at malls and shopping centers during the holiday season.
“I used to go to Black Friday every year and last year I said, ‘No way’ because the crowds and the parking are so frustrating. So last year I did my shopping online.”
It’s that type of frustration that led to the creation of MyPark.
“My partner and MyPark co-founder had a parking spot in his office that everybody used when they went to the bank in the lobby of the building,” explained Luis Mayendia. “So he was trying to find a way to control that and not allow people to park.”
MyPark co-founder and CEO Luis Mayendia says the idea morphed into the technology that would actually hold parking spots, for a price.
“We have the MyPark robot here waiting for you to arrive and then you tap “Let Me In” when you drive up and it goes down and it lets you park,” he explains.
Here’s how it works.
You download the MyPark app.
Then, find the location where you want to park.
In South Florida, MyPark is currently available at Dadeland Mall and The Falls, with more locations coming soon.
Once you arrive at the location, check in through the app, and the MyPark bot will drop down so you can pull in.
The convenience comes with a cost– $3 to park for the first two hours, and $3 each additional hour after that.
Once you’re done shopping, you just get back in your car, pull out of the spot, and the MyPark bot will go back up on its own.
Your receipt will be sent to your email.
You can reserve a spot up to six months in advance, but it won’t charge you until you pull in to park.
If you’re hoping to book a spot for Black Friday, reservations filled up fast!
“We do have availability because we do cap the future reservations at a certain amount, so we actually have on demand availability even on Black Friday so just check your app,” Mayendia told CBS 4’s Lauren Pastrana.
Mayendia says they plan to expand outside of retail, to airports, hospitals, office buildings and condos– places where parking is at a premium.
Drivers we spoke to are on-board.
“Sounds like a great idea,” Lisa Duncan said. “It really does, that way you can get in and end the circling and everything else.”
“For me, it’s worthwhile and yes, I would definitely do that,” Mercy Gonzalez added.
If you don’t shop at the Falls or Dadeland, don’t worry.
Another My Park location is coming in December to Miami International Mall.