OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The Omaha Airport Authority unanimously approved a 10% off-airport parking fee. Owners of Stewarts Airport Parking say the fee will run them out of business.
"We're a family-owned business, we are not making a ton of money. With what they are suggesting, it is going to put us flat out, out of business," said owner Terry Rydberg.
Airport Board Members say what they are doing follows industry standards.
"This is part of a broader ground transportation strategy that has been going on since 2017. User fees are already being collected by Uber, Lyft, taxis, limo's all for-hire ground transportation," said Steve McCoy, Chief Information Development Officer of Omaha Airport Authority.
Airport Consultants say that Park & Go already pays a fee at the majority of their other locations in other cities and a fee on gross instead of net limits the intrusion into their books.
"Net would imply that you are truly into the company's books. Gross receipts are a broader look at the business and again, there are exclusions," said Jack Santa, an airport consultant with LeighFisher.
Owners of Stewarts Parking said they did not make any money last year due to COVID, and now this.
"They could not have picked a worse time. We are simply trying to recover and we are being hit with another curveball," adds Rydberg.
The new fees will start on August 1, 2021. Officials said companies can absorb the cost as part of their operating costs or pass the fee on to customers. But Ryberg says for them, that is not an option.
"We are going to have to raise our prices, but how can we raise our prices and then compete with the airport prices?"
They say they will continue to fight.
"It's just going to take the food off our plate, that is all it is going to do. I am not giving what little bit I earn to them, they are going to have to take it," said Cindy Stevens, another owner of Stewarts Airport Parking.