Parking in Paradise is a big Problem

Dolphin"Another parking shakedown at the Dolphin Market" is generating dozens of comments via the St. John forum of Trip Advisor.

Gabrielle55 of Bethesda, Md. kicked it off with a rant about her vehicle being booted for parking in the food store's Cruz Bay lot while she and her husband went to dinner.  On returning, she was told what-she-called her 'honest mistake' would cost her $175 to get her car rolling again.

She also complained about being unable to get a receipt for the un-booting and that one of the store's 'guards' threatened to smash her camera if a picture was taken of the payment being made.

Many of the comments, perhaps surprisingly, side with Dolphin.  

Pia, a local, said, "Dolphin Market does have signs on all of he walls where to park your car and very clearly states, 'Parking for Customers Only.'" She points out that the new public parking lot at the Enighed commercial dock is now open, "a three-minute walk from town."


Littlebenn from Massachusetts agrees said, "I am not sure why you would park in front of signs that … clearly stated the outcome."

"To wrap it up," afdded StJohnJulie, "don't park where you are not supposed to."

14 thoughts on “Parking in Paradise is a big Problem”

  1. I wouldn’t want a boot on my car, but I wouldn’t park there if I wasn’t supposed to either. There is a new pay parking lot right next to Fatty Crab … I think its 5 bucks for several hours if you don’t want to hike from the new enighed lot – either way, cheaper than the boot fee.
    There are plenty of spots to be had a)if you are willing to pay for it b)don’t mind a 5 minute walk and c)drive around a little and look.
    We almost always find a spot by the creek, sometimes by the beach bar, sometimes in the little lot by the visitors center dock, and if memory serves, you can park in the National Park visitors center parking lot after 5, before then its employees only.

  2. The attitude of the Dolphin Market employees is what did it for me. The only chance I go back to Dolphin is to take a parking spot and go shopping for an hour and fill a grocery basket and then leave it in line to go get my wallet and not return. I say let’s fight attitude with attitude. Support the places on Island that actually want your money not this customer service nightmare. RIP Dolphin!

  3. Fighting attitude with attitude? Leaving a full basket there just to p–s somebody off? All that will do is help the attitude problem continue to exist….if you don’t like the attitude of a certain place, then don’t go back, plain and simple.

  4. Seems Gabby55 from Maryland was wrong to park there and the option was to tow or boot, but charging a tourist $175 for parking is excessive and detrimential to the tourist industry as a whole. What Dolphin Market did is a bad reflection on the SJ business community. $50 should of been penality enough, or the option to spend $100 in the market as compensation.
    Smarten up Cruz Bay and stop biting the hand that feeds you.

  5. As I said on the board. I have been traveling to St John since 1995 and usually shop at Dolphin at least once if not twice during a two week period. Doesn’t matter how much the fine is, the fact that Dolphin would farm out the job to someone who seems by his actions to be a “thug”, and then allow him to act as a “security guard” is enough for me never to attend the place again.
    Their business must be pretty bad with the new setup, so hopefully they will RIP after this one.

  6. Quote PIA”Dolphin Market does have signs on all of he walls where to park your car and very clearly states, ‘Parking for Customers Only.’
    There is a sign in front of every parking spot, that says more than that. It also says $175 towing charge.

  7. > the store’s ‘guards’ threatened to smash her camera if a picture was taken of the payment being made.< That's effing ridiculous. NEVER again will I spend even a penny in Dolphin Market.

  8. On another note, I’m curious as to why we had trouble finding a handicapped parking spot in Cruz Bay this past trip.(My faincee is handicapped due to an unfortunate motorcycle accident in 1995).
    We can usually find availability by the public restrooms in town, or the very first spot right next to the ferry dock.
    We were there for 9 days in May, and both spots were taken each & every day by people with no handicapped placards, nor license plates. Did THEY get ticketed/booted? Didn’t appear so to me.
    We made do though. Paid Slimman’s daily and were ok with it, but still a bit aggravated.
    Unless I’m mistaken, one of the “offending” vehicles was a pickup truck used by some sort of city maintenance employee. We thought he/she was maybe just cleaning the restrooms,or something, and would be done soon, which led us to driving around the circle of downtown a few times,while waiting for the spot to empty. No such luck.
    I asked both taxi drivers & a policeman about it, and they both said,”Maybe they are handicapped. How do you know they’re not?”
    Local snowjob.
    All that said, they just might be ticketing/booting the wrong people.

  9. If the signs are as big as life … then do not park there… end of comment.
    In response to Mahojim:
    My husband and I have been going to St. John for the last 22 years and we also have a Handicap hanging tag. We can never find a Handicap spot. Yes, I know where you mean…the handicap parking spot is always taken by an untagged car/pickup. The police seem to ignore this completely.
    What St. John needs IS A FEW MORE HANDICAPPED PARKING SPOTS. If they (police) are not complying with the handicap parking ordinences, then there should be more spots for people in need. Notice to the Police: Do you job and ticket these cars… believe me they will not park there again.
    We visitors support your Island paradise.
    LI Cathy

  10. Sherry in SC
    What I have found baffling in the past is…Why are there Police Cars parked in the handicapped? Seen that many times !! I too have my hanging placard but never does any good. Usually hubby lets me out at our destination and he circles endlessly to find a space. Guess that explains why
    they don’t ticket those other cars.

  11. Once again, I am going to encourage our city fathers to consider a parking garage on the tennis court area, with created auto free streets downtown and a gulf cart industry for tourist that don’t want to walk three blocks.
    There is also that property across from the lumberyard that has been a forest of concrete pillars for over 25 years! A little demolishment and expansion upward and it could be a parking garage!
    Community, Highway, Beautification, Green Vocational Education, Developer, and Fine Arts grants are the way to put the funding together!

  12. First and foremost getting ticket / booted is all good if the signs are there, which they are. Secondly, she should have gone in and bought a beer kept the receipt and then called the cops who are parked in the Handicapped spots! 😉 The spots do not designate when you have to purchase and so therefore are useless if you buy something. Better still lady obey the signs. I have been going to St John for many years now and the place really is not the honest, kind place it is portrayed to be. Most businesses there now only care about the dollar and blame the rest on “Island time as an excuse for poor customer service.” Wake up St. John and provide services / parking if you want people to return.

  13. “There is also that property across from the lumberyard that has been a forest of concrete pillars for over 25 years! A little demolishment and expansion upward and it could be a parking garage!” –
    Bye the way – this just happens to be private property!

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