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Business to tow students' cars

Feb. 20, 2001

Hotel manager: Spaces reserved for patrons only


Staff writer

In the never-ending quest to find a good parking spot, students have begun to look just off campus. But that won't happen much longer if a hotel manager has anything to say about it.

Wayne Smotherman, manager of the Best Western hotel across from North Russell Residence Hall, said he is tired of students using his parking lot and will begin to tow their cars Monday.

'We have a good relationship with Baylor and we don't want to screw that up, but we also want to take care of our business,' Smotherman said.

Smotherman said there are between 20 and 40 student cars in his parking lot throughout the day. He said at first they took up the spaces designed for 18-wheelers and now have begun parking in front of rooms in the hotel.

Vicente Melendez, who works at Lupita's Mexican restaurant next to the Best Western, said several customers have complained to him that they cannot find parking places because students have taken them.

One student said she parked in the lot because it was close to Russell Residence Hall and she would not get a parking ticket.

'I parked there because I won't get a ticket and I could on the Baylor lots,' said Britni Rowlett, a Texas A&M student who was visiting a friend in Russell Residence Hall.

Smotherman said he has tried to make it clear that the parking lot is for his customers only. He said he has put signs up at all the entrances to the parking lot and placed stickers on the windshields of the students' cars.

'Those people pulling in know they do not belong there,' Smotherman said.

After trying these efforts, Smotherman said he feels like his options are limited.

'I don't want to do that [tow them],' Smotherman said. 'It'll cost them $60 to $80 to get their car back.'