FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla. - “They’re upping the price and making it harder to come down here and have a good time,” says Adrian, an FGCU student visiting Fort Myers Beach.
That was the general consensus from beachgoers when asked about the cost of parking.
“I think it should go down a little bit,” adds Phillip Arnold, a parking attendant.
It comes as the town council agreed to increase the cost of city-operated parking spots from three dollars an hour, to five.
Beachgoers said that just finding a spot is tough enough as it is.
“We just drove down like five miles that way and five miles this way. It was an entire hour to park,” says John Sotardi, who was visiting the beach.
A main concern is that private parking is also going to start climbing.
“Now that the meters on the street are getting higher, the separate parking places are going to get higher, everyone’s just going to be kind of at a loss here,” adds his friend, Alex Mazzaran.
Phillip says that he sees long lines pretty much every day, and that the increase in parking costs won't be changing that.
“It’s a lot of traffic, and it’s all the time. Even when it’s not season, there’s still a lot of traffic here,” says Phillip.
Traffic that locals are all too familiar with.
“We live half an hour away, what’s going on here?!” exclaims Adrian, talking about his trek to the beach.
But even with the increased parking, it won't stop some determined beachgoers from soaking up Southwest Florida's sunny rays.
“If people are gonna pay, people are going to raise it until people stop paying,” says Alex.
“I mean, there’s always other beaches,” concedes Adrian.
“There’s not a lot of places around here where you’re going to park close to the beach like this. So they pay and they go to the beach,” explains Phillip, with a smirk.
To get more information on parking in Fort Myers Beach, including a list of available spot, visit their website.