Parking Off-Campus Affects Canyon Businesses

Aileen Taylor, Reporter

As WT’s enrollment numbers go up, the number of on-campus parking spaces seems to go down. Students have started seeking parking lots near campus to park during classes. However, this has led to the local businesses adjacent to WT losing customers.

“Customers see us with our parking lots full, but we don’t have any customers inside. They choose not to come in to eat with [the parking lot] being so full,” said Ricky Johnson, manager at Pizza Hut.

Canyon is a pretty small town, and the businesses are beginning to feel the strain of the overflow students parking in their lots.

“We don’t have a lot of parking. We have, I think, a total of 8 spots,”said Bailey Irving, employee at Fat Boys BBQ. “During the rush, we get really busy, and when they take up our whole lot, we lose customers”

Fat Boys BBQ is not the only one experiencing these issues. Parking is a problem for more than just students, and the businesses are getting frustrated. At the beginning of last semester, many local businesses reached out to WT Police and Parking Services and asked that the students no longer park in their lots or they will be towed. These businesses include Taco Villa, Pizza Hut, Fat Boys BBQ, Donut Stop, McDonald’s & United.

“The way a business is run is by your numbers. And to bring in those numbers we need our spots,” said Jacob Alvarado, Assistant Service Manager at United. “We had one of our employees sit out there and patrol and kinda enforce just a reminder that our lot is not for student parking.”

If students continue to park in these zones, then the businesses will be towing the cars at the owner’s expense. At Fat Boys BBQ they are taking down license plate numbers and leaving notes on cars to discourage students parking in their lot.

“We don’t want to create a negative environment because United is about positive, but we’re here to help guests. it goes back to us being a business, and the way a business is run is by your numbers, and to bring in those numbers we need our spots,” said Alvarado.

There are places to park near campus if you can’t snag one on campus. Another resource that is offered for students are the shuttle buses that start and end every day at the First United Bank Center. Also, the parking lot behind the softball fields is also open to students as well.

To get more information about what options there are for student parking, you can contact Jerry Faltinek, Director of Support Services at [email protected] or 806.651.2308.