Some Khalid concert-goers who left their vehicles parked at a west El Paso shopping plaza were upset after getting their vehicles booted despite receiving permission to park there by bar owners in the shopping center.
“We were just about to finish our meal and the staff comes over and says, ‘hey guys we know you’re going to the concert. You guys are ok to leave your cars here.’ So we thought awesome,” said Victoria Nunez.
Nunez’s friend was one of many who left their vehicles parked in the Rudolph Plaza shopping center on Mesa Street during the Sunday night benefit concert.
“When we came back, it was a different situation for us,” said Nunez.
Those who left their cars in the shopping center had to come up with $167 each in order to get the boots removed from their vehicles by a tow company working on behalf of the shopping plaza owner.
David Morales, a manager at the Brass Monkey bar, said that his staff did give customers permission to leave their vehicles at the bar. But according to the owner of the shopping center, that decision was not one the bar management was authorized to make.
“Customers are people consuming goods. When they leave the center they’re no longer consuming goods,” said Ernie Gulk, the owner of Rudolph Plaza.
Gluck said that business owners in the plaza are aware that they are not allowed to let customers leave their vehicles parked during special events.
“Many times people use that parking lot, and they’re not a customer of the shopping center,” said Gluck.
According to Gulk, the night of the benefit concert about 80 cars were parked in the parking lot. But when security staff went to each business they only noticed 30 to 40 customers in all.
“There’s a remote monitoring center. What happens is people park their cars and then walk away and say they were going to come back for dinner but how do we know that to be true,” said Gluck.
Gluck said that incidents like this can be prevented as long as bar owners make arrangements with him ahead of any special event.
Nunez was thankful that the Brass Monkey employees were trying to help out their customers, but believes better communication could’ve prevented this.
“There was a huge lack of communication and I think if they would’ve gotten the authorization prior or if we would’ve known we would’ve not had an issue to pay parking right up the street.”