The company that runs a parking app at the Mall of America is now trying to recruit stores and restaurants in the megamall for a validation program that would let shoppers and diners reserve stalls for free.
MyPark users can already reserve a parking spot near the first-floor entrance in both the east and west ramps.
The Miami-based company is now courting mall merchants to sign up for its validation program, which would reimburse users who bought an item from a participating store or ate at a participating restaurant.
"Once you get your bill, you simply ask the server or cashier to validate your session," said Luis Mayendia, chief executive of MyPark.
The server or cashier then enters a code on the phone app and the parking session is automatically validated.
Mall of America has about 13,000 parking spots. MyPark controls 10 parking stalls in both of the mall's ramps and, since its start last October, has had to compete with the abundance of free spaces.
The MyPark spaces have a gate-like device in the middle of the stall that prevents others from parking there. Once a user has reserved the spot, Mayendia said, "The app is like a garage-door opener."
MyPark users can reserve spots either on-demand — at the moment of arrival — or as far in advance as six months.
Mayendia said the company already has Black Friday reservations at the Mall of America. MyPark is available at 15 public malls in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.