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Re: pay to park at the Ahwahnee

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pay to park at the Ahwahnee
April 20, 2023 04:37PM
When we were in Yosemite a few weeks ago, we wanted to drive by the Ahwahnee and check out the pond. There was a man right before the parking asking if we were guests and needed valet parking. We just said we were doing a drive by. We saw at the parking lot just past the pond that there was a sign for part of the parking lot that said Valet Parking Only. We thought that was possibly due to the dirt parking lot that is usually used for valet parking could be a muddy mess and can't be used. A few days later, I was on the Aramark website and saw that now they are charging $30/night for guests to park and then for non-guests to park for the day $15 and if you buy something you can get a validation so it will cost $10.

Frankly, I am a bit annoyed at this. At the prices of the rooms at the Ahwahnee, charging for parking on top of that is just wrong. Also, I do a lot of my Christmas and birthday shopping at the gift shop at the Ahwahnee and why should I have to pay to park just to go into the store for a short period of time to shop? Just another money grab by Aramark. This is a national park and not some big city hotel where one expects to pay for parking.

Does anyone know if other parks are charging for parking at their lodging? I have reservations at Zion Lodge in Zion NP for later this year and while you do have to have a parking permit to park at the lodge it is free.

I am sick of Aramark.
Re: pay to park at the Ahwahnee
April 22, 2023 04:56PM
Parking has always been tight there but paying to park in a NP after paying an entrance fee is ridiculous. Let’s see if they try to charge me to park my bike.
I only go there anyway if it’s raining outside.
Re: pay to park at the Ahwahnee
April 24, 2023 07:24AM
When you were there recently did they still have those crazy traffic route changes that they instituted last year with the k-rails and redoing the shuttle routes?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/24/2023 07:25AM by mtn man.
Re: pay to park at the Ahwahnee
May 01, 2023 02:47PM
mtn man
When you were there recently did they still have those crazy traffic route changes that they instituted last year with the k-rails and redoing the shuttle routes?

They removed the crazy traffic routes and the k-rails for the winter and I am not sure it they have put them back up again since we have been there. The shuttle routes were still the same.

Unfortunately, starting sometime this spring, that stupid traffic route is going to become permanent. I have sent comments more than once against that route. It makes visiting the valley difficult if you are someone that can't hike, bike or use the shuttle, to get around the valley. It did help with the traffic flow, for people leaving the park, especially in the evenings, but caused issues in other places. It really made it dangerous for pedestrians when all of the traffic has to drive through Curry Village when the main road is closed. I can't tell you how many times, we almost hit people because they were walking in the road without paying attention to vehicles.

The first time we went to the park and experienced that traffic pattern, we inadvertently turned left onto Sentinel Bridge thinking that we could park in the lot near Cook's Meadow to take a picture of leaning tree and then we wanted to go to Curry, not realizing that you can't get to that lot going that direction and when you got into that lane, your only option was to drive all the way to the El Cap crossover to get to Curry. A lot of driving when in the past, all you had to do was turn around in the parking lot to go east again.

The park did the traffic study pilot during the pandemic when visitation was not normal and in my mind, their conclusion of the effectiveness is not valid. I feel that they should do another study now that the park is not requiring reservations. I am sure that there are other things that they could do to prevent the traffic jams that occur at the most used intersections. It also makes the park less user friendly. The year it was first used, my husband asked one of the employees in the Ahwahnee gift shop how they felt the traffic pattern came across to visitors, and their comment was it is like the park is saying " Welcome to Yosemite, now leave."

I greatly suggest that people that do not like that traffic control to send a comment to the park.
Re: pay to park at the Ahwahnee
April 24, 2023 08:27PM
Can't wait to have someone other than Aramark there.
Re: pay to park at the Ahwahnee
April 25, 2023 07:58AM
I’ve been out of touch for a while… sorry. Still actively doing a lot, tho this winter, we did more in the home area because of closures and crazy conditions.. hope all well with you, Parklover, and others!

Wasn’t the contract with Aramark for 15 years, and started in 2016. That means a number more years of their nonsense. We haven’t really had great or even good experiences with them for some time, and don’t use their facilities much anymore. And $30/night on top of their crazy hotel fees at the Ahwahnee to park? Seriously? If the quality of service and accommodations was better. The last time we stayed at the lodge with other families.. Too many had issues with their rooms, and we have stopped doing that. Very sad.

Zion, as of two years ago, still had free parking for lodge guests, and only lodge guests could drive up the canyon road to the parking lot, which was great. Would love to bike that someday.
Re: pay to park at the Ahwahnee
May 01, 2023 03:14PM
Hi JKW. Hope all is well with you all. Sorry about your last lodge stay. For years, we have been staying at a private residence in the area when we go to Yosemite, so we don't have to deal with lodging anymore. However, we do shop in the park and eat at the restaurants and have not been happy with the changes Aramark has made. We really miss the old Degnan's Deli, and we really don't like the food choices that they offer in most of the places. Since I am at high risk if I get Covid, I am not allowed to eat indoors in public places. We really love getting a Ahwahnee burger once in a while and during the time when the dining room was closed during the height of the pandemic and you could only get takeout, we would get a takeout burger and go eat it outside. We even tipped them as if we had eaten in the dining room. Once they partially reopened the dining room last year, we were told that they only would do takeout for people staying there. This was even after I talked to the manager and explained my situation. He said it was OK to get takeout but the people in the dining room would not let us do takeout. I can understand that they are not staffed enough to offer takeout for everyone but still they could make an exception. Of course, now the kitchen is being redone, so I am not sure if they are only serving people that are staying there or can you still eat in the dining room if you are not a guest. For my 60th birthday, we sat that the Queens' table which was wonderful. This July I will be 70 and really wanted a Ahwahnee dinner but I can't eat inside, and I am sure that there is no way that they would let us eat at an outside table. I have even thought about getting seated and as soon as our food is delivered, we ask it to be but in a takeout box, tip them and leave.

I have my Zion reservations for later this year, and they still are not charging for parking at the lodge. I already have my car pass so we can drive and park at the lodge during our stay. In my younger years, we brought our bikes to the park and used them instead of using the shuttle. It is a nice ride through the canyon and on the Pa'rus Trail. We didn't bike the road to the tunnel.
Re: pay to park at the Ahwahnee
May 01, 2023 02:50PM
I agree, but who knows who will bid on it other than Aramark. I asked a Xanterra upper management person in 2010 about if they would ever bid on Yosemite and he said no that it is too political. I don't know if they changed their mind. DNC might be too mad about what happened, and Forever Resorts is a small company and might not be able to run a concession the size of Yosemite.
Re: pay to park at the Ahwahnee
May 01, 2023 01:47PM
People always complained about Deleware North, so they gave us Aramark. The same company that runs the food concessions in prison.
Re: pay to park at the Ahwahnee
May 01, 2023 02:52PM
My husband didn't work at a prison, but Aramark used to run the food service where he worked, and they fired them for nonperformance. Same at the Arizonia school that a friends grand kids go to.
Re: pay to park at the Ahwahnee
June 16, 2023 09:56AM
Re: pay to park at the Ahwahnee
June 15, 2023 01:27PM
We were just there this week and didn't go to the Ahwahnee. But like you said, we often would go to shop or just take in the patio and walk around for an hour or two. So disappointing we'd have to pay to park.
avatar Re: pay to park at the Ahwahnee
June 15, 2023 04:59PM
This from this month's Yosemite Guide:

After more than 95 years in service, The Ahwahnee is continuing a multiphase comprehensive rehabilitation plan to preserve the hotel’s historic
integrity, while bringing the building to code with modern fire and seismic safety standards. Scaffolding and construction noise may be present during
parts of the rehabilitation project.

Due to these historic projects, Ahwahnee parking lot space has been reduced. Parking is valet only with a $30 nightly charge, $15 day-use or $10
with validation.

This change will only be during this historic project and will return to normal upon completion.
Re: pay to park at the Ahwahnee
June 16, 2023 09:56AM
Been to Yosemite twice the past month and both times paid up for visiting the Ahwahnee. Don't like it, but paid it. We ate there, so it came down to $10.

What bothers me is that they charge and don't staff it. Second time there we were a large group (5 cars) and they had only attendant working. We tipped the guy generously as he was working very hard. If you're going to charge for parking, you should at least staff it better.
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