Spotlight On: Tim Hoppenrath + Charleston, SC.
Meet Tim Hoppenrath. With over 34 years of parking and hospitality management experience, Tim joined Premium Parking in 2019 as Market President (MP) of the Coastal Carolinas. As MP he has gone above and beyond by securing several major contracts with Oklahoma State Parks, the Town of Kure Beach, the City of Rock Hill, and Chicago Parking Solutions at Chicago Public Schools. Find out what brought him to Premium, why he loves the Carolinas, and what he sees in the future of the parking industry.
How did you get started in the Parking Industry?
I was hired as a valet at Walter Payton’s Pacific Club for a small local Chicago based company called Valet Systems, where I quickly became a management partner. I assisted in expanding operations to Detroit, MI, Huntington Beach, CA, and Tampa Bay/Palm Beach/Miami, FL. It was a lot of fun managing valet operations, meeting new people, and the tips were amazing. As a valet, I learned the value of hustling on foot, setting up operational systems to improve efficiencies, and how to deliver Ritz-Carlton service to every person I met, whether they Valet'd or not. I believe every self-parking facility should be treated as a five-star resort... impeccably clean, clear messaging, and a place I'd like to return to.
What brought you to Premium Parking?
I was thrilled to see that Premium Parking was hiring for the Carolinas, as my wife & I were looking to make the move to be closer to family. When I met with Ben Montgomery, President of Premium Parking, I was sold. I was amazed by the GLIDEPARCS gateless, digital parking solution and how it is working to change the face of parking. During this discussion I really had an epiphany regarding two of the biggest headaches I’d experienced for the past 25 years managing legacy gated parking operations…
1. Gates are very costly in CapEx and OpEx and break down or they go offline at the worst possible moments.
2. Staffing and retaining reliable & trustworthy cashiers can be a timely and costly ongoing challenge.
GLIDEPARCS manages all aspects of a parking session using the license plate. For example, with our on-street parking, you pre-pay for your parking, and a license plate recognition (LPR) camera enforces the policy, so there is no need for staffed parking enforcement. No need to deal with gate malfunctions or unreliable/untrustworthy cashiers. Did I mention I also love Premium’s company culture & teamwork efficiencies.
What are some of your favorite spots?
There are a lot of places to shop, and some amazing things to do in the Carolinas. I'm a Chicago guy raised on pizza, hot dogs, and Italian beef sandwiches so when it comes to places to eat, I enjoy Skoogies and Mac's Downtown to feed this addiction here in Charleston. Most weekends you can find my wife and I at Wild Dunes, enjoying the beach or a round of golf, and my son works at the course.
With winter in full swing, what are some of your favorite activities to do in Charleston this time of year?
Fortunately, it doesn’t get too cold here, so I have a weekly tee time every Sunday morning, but we also like to take our dogs (Black Lab/Chow Mix & Golden Retriever) to the beach or local county parks.
What parking trends are here to stay?
Parking innovations have been long overdue. From what I’m seeing, the entire industry is trying to replicate Premium’s GLIDEPARCS platform or piece together multiple parking technologies (mobile payments, monthly parking, reservations, digital validations, enforcement) building a “Frankenstein” model which is much more costly and doesn’t accomplish the same goal of a single turnkey full-stack platform solution where one company is accountable if something goes wrong.
How do you envision the parking industry changing over the next 10 years?
I can envision far fewer gated operations in the future with innovative license plate credential technologies, and I see pay machines fading out with the adoption of mobile payments for everything nowadays.