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Friday, Apr 20, 2018
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Free parking returning to Tampa's Hard Rock Casino due to 'customer concern'

TAMPA — The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino is getting rid of its controversial parking fee.

Parking in all of the casino's garages will once again be free beginning Tuesday, casino spokesperson Nikki Yourison told the Tampa Bay Times.

In a news release, the casino said the decision to get rid of the $10 charge instituted six months ago is due to "guest concerns," as well as the re-opening of nearly 500 parking spaces that had been closed due to construction.

The casino also plans to open a new 700-space parking garage on Orient Road in April.

"We have closely monitored the comments of our guests and have changed course in response to their concerns, and because we will soon have more parking spaces to meet guest demand," Seminole Gaming CEO James Allen said in a written statement. "The Seminoles are responsible members of the community and they want to fix the situation."

Many people turned to social media to vent frustration when the casino first began charging for parking in August, and they haven't stopped since. Over the past month, more than 40 comments have been posted to the Tampa Hard Rock's Facebook page complaining about the charge for parking.

The casino's announcement said that security enhancements made to its parking garages since the casino started charging, including more security officers, would remain.

Some Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino customers had received mailers from the casino just this week, stating that parking would be free starting Feb. 21 for guests who signed up for the free Wild Card rewards card, and that parking would be cut to $5 for non-Wild Card members.

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