Lanier Parking Solutions

When he founded Lanier Parking Solutions in 1989, Michael Robison knew the company needed to offer more to clients than just a place to park. “[He] knew parking was ultimately about hiring and training the right people and providing a high level of customer service, and he backed it up by promoting from within,” the company says. 

The company screens all of its employees carefully before hiring, including reviewing work histories and performance evaluations. Upon their hire, all employees are trained in customer service as well as standard operating procedures, work safety, uniformity and grooming. 

“When we look for new teammates, we have always followed the philosophy that we will invest in someone to teach parking, but we won’t take the time to teach those qualities that make someone an exceptional person,” COO Rick Graham noted in a statement. “To be successful as a member of the Lanier team, we require each of us to always maintain a high level of integrity, a superior work ethic, a positive attitude and a desire for each of us – our clients, our customers and the members of our organization – to excel in all facets of our responsibilities.”

Lanier Parking’s careful hiring practices have enabled it to create a culture where each staff member is held to high performance standards, which it carries over to its customers. “The desire to serve is part of our DNA,” Graham adds. “Being courteous, prompt, knowledgeable and helpful are all part of serving, but feeling the personal inner drive to benefit other people in your service is what separates the Lanier team from the rest.”

The company’s emphasis on service has allowed it to grow in a very competitive parking management services environment. “This is a tribute to our commitment to developing long-lasting business relationships with our customers and landlords,” the company adds.

Lanier Parking’s services to clients extend from concept to completion. “We provide the expertise at any project stage to achieve a better and more profitable parking system,” the company says. “At Lanier, full service means more than parking design, management, leasing, financing, purchasing or facility operations. It also means providing advanced parking technology and financial expertise, which are rarely available in other parking management companies.”

Rapid Expansion

The company has rapidly expanded its services and geographical reach during its history. Robison, with the help of partner Scott Diggs, expanded the company from a single lot in downtown Atlanta to 35 properties in seven southeastern cities, all while attending Georgia Tech University in the early 1990s. By the early 2000s, the company managed more than 275 properties in 16 cities. Today, Lanier Parking operates close to 400 locations with as many as 2,000 employees across the country.

In addition to parking management, the company operates divisions offering shuttle, valet, consulting and on-street parking privatization. In 2000, Lanier was the first U.S. parking company to create an alternative transportation division, which promotes commuter programs including car and bike sharing. 

The company also manages parking and transportation needs for high-profile special events. Past events the company has managed include the 2000 Democratic National Convention, the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics and several PGA championships.

Lanier Parking in 2014 took a large step toward future growth and further geographic expansion when it closed on an equity investment from Antarctica Capital. As part of the transition, Robison retired and handed the company’s management over to Jerry Skillett, a 30-year industry veteran. Skillett previously served in a number of roles with Central Parking System, leading that company through extensive growth including adding new locations in the United States and Mexico. “The people here are what make Lanier exceptional,” Skillett said in a statement. 

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