While it’s the first time McAllen is hosting the fiesta of frozen fun, “FRIO!,” a viewer reached out to CBS 4 with concerns about the parking situation.
“It’s time for the Rio Grande Valley to have these kinds of events and McAllen is the one that’s going to bring them,” said McAllen’s City Manager, Roy Rodriguez.
It’s a new event at the McAllen Convention Center, but the fee to park is new for McAllen residents, like Eduardo De La Rosa, who also served on the convention center’s board for over six years.
“We made it a point not to assess additional fees to anybody visiting the convention center,” said De La Rosa.
De La Rosa said he was caught by surprise during Black Friday weekend when he brought family visiting from out of town to the FRIO! event.
“I saw the ticket booth that said ‘cash only’ so the city of McAllen or any governmental entity shouldn’t be operating on a cash only basis,” said De La Rosa. “We should have learned from things back in the day that everything should be ticketed or paid up front or something to [keep] track.”
So, De La Rosa questioned the fee.
“Where is this money going to?” asked De La Rosa. “Where is this cash going to?
Rodriguez said the parking fee applies to everyone whether you plan on walking around outside the convention center to look at the displays or go inside to take part in the holiday activities. He added that the charge is to ensure that those who want to go to FRIO! has a parking space, as there are people that park at the convention center to go shopping.
The city manager also said that the fee is an alternative toward revenue for the city, while also keeping ticket prices for the event low.
“We had a lot of capital costs in order to put the outside show,” said Rodriguez. “The candles or the lantern festival and so that help recoup some of that costs.”
Rodriguez said people will see more of these parking fees for the performing arts center or if there’s a ticketed event at the convention center. He said that all the funds that go toward the convention center for their operations come from the hotel occupancy tax.