If you’re unfamiliar with SpotHero, you probably drive in areas where parking isn’t an issue. Lucky you! For many living in or visiting high-population, ultra-packed cities, however, the company has come to be a lifesaver.
We spoke to Kristen Cho, Vice President of Marketing at the company, to learn more about SpotHero, its story, and where it’s going.
What is SpotHero?
SpotHero is the brainchild of Mark Lawrence, Larry Kiss, and Jeremy Smith, three friends who managed to amass thousands of dollars of parking tickets while living in Chicago.
“They figured they weren’t the only people struggling with chronic parking problems, so they decided to find a better solution and SpotHero was born,” says Cho.
The company started out offering spaces in the most inconspicuous of places — driveways, garages, and parking places of individuals, putting a heavy emphasis on parking-challenged locales like Wrigleyville in Chicago. If you’ve gone to see the defending World Series Champion Chicago Cubs play a home game, you may have SpotHero to thank for finding you a parking spot.
SpotHero’s growth put it on the radar of a major parking garage company in the area, which allowed SpotHero access to its parking spot database. This expanded SpotHero’s reach in the city significantly. With the addition of an ever-growing inventory of parking spaces, SpotHero set out on a path toward major growth.
“SpotHero is the nation’s leading parking reservation service, connecting drivers with convenient garages, lots, and valets,” says Cho. The company offers both a website and a mobile app, and provides access to over 5,000 parking locations in 47 cities in the United States, including major cities like New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.
So far, SpotHero has helped more than seven million cars find a parking place, and the company expects that number to grow to 20 million by year’s end.
Spot the Differences
We put the question to Cho: What do you think sets SpotHero apart from its competitors?
“We’re known for the most focus on the holistic parking experience, from multi-device, intuitive UIs, to offering the most options and locations within each major market, to fantastic pricing and world class customer service,” she responds.
The company prides itself on the fact that travelers can plan their journey in advance, reserve a parking spot in advance, and have the “peace of mind,” as Cho puts it, of knowing that a spot will be waiting for them when they arrive.
SpotHero has a great story of a customer making use of its service in a way that one might not expect. One customer’s wife was receiving chemotherapy treatment in an area where parking costs for the couple were so exorbitant that the customer was unable to remain with his wife for support during her appointments.
“Luckily, a friend had told him about us, and he was able to find affordable parking right by the hospital, well within his budget!” exclaims Cho. “It’s amazing the impact little improvements to daily routines can have on your life.”
Put it in Park
Cho has a tip for drivers who are going to a large city where parking might be an issue.
“Don’t leave parking to chance!” she says. “Find and reserve your spot in advance. That way, you know exactly where you’re going, how much time to account for, and what it will cost. All that time and energy spent on figuring out where to park — not to mention keeping track of the little paper ticket — literally doesn’t have to be part of your life anymore. Park smarter!”