Outlet mall debuts app that allows shoppers to reserve parking spaces

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In 2018, you can order take-out to be delivered by robot. You can have a cab delivered by the swipe of a finger. And now, the hassle of finding parking is solved from the palm of your hand.

The new app MyPark, hitting Ellenton Premium Outlets Friday, promises to do just that.

“MyPark allows guests here at Ellenton Premium Outlets to reserve a space and have control of that space,” said Luis Mayendia, MyPark’s CEO.

The app charges $3 for the first two hours in the space, and another $3 per hour after that. 

The way it works is pretty simple. Let’s say you needed to go run some errands at the outlet mall, but didn’t want to take the time to find a parking space. All you have to do is open up the app.

From there, Mayendia says pick the outlet location and click “park now.”

“And it’s automatically going to assign you the best available space,” he said.  “And once you have it on the screen, the space is yours. And once you’re there, just tap the ‘let me in’ button. That’s going to lower the device, and let you park.”

Shoppers like Etta Smith say the app is perfect for busy shopping days. 

“Christmas time or holiday time, it’s really very packed,” Smith said. “So if I were able to get closer to the area I need to go, that would definitely be an asset.”

Others like John Granger, don’t mind the hassle of parking. 

“It wouldn’t be worthwhile to me,” Granger said. “But for some people it probably would be. But personally I wouldn’t use it, because I like to walk and everything.”

Once shoppers are ready to go, all they have to do is pull out of the space.

“You don’t have to open the app or anything, you just leave, and the device comes up, and then closes your session and sends you an email receipt,” Mayendia added.

There are currently 16 MyPark spaces in the outlet mall’s lot. Parking is still free in other spots at the mall.