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Any advice on parking for the Stampede parade

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Hanmer Springs, New...
posts: 11
reviews: 21
Any advice on parking for the Stampede parade

We're two couples from New Zealand visiting Calgary for the 2013 Stampede. Because one of our party has bad knees we decided to hire a car for his comfort.

We've arranged parking inside the grounds and seating for the parade but the big question now is that we're staying 16th Ave NW and need to get to the Rotary Club breakfast on the corner of 9th Ave SW and 7 St SW by 7am. It appears that there's a 24 hour parkade at 722 8th Ave SW so we're thinking that if we leave by 6am to get to that parking lot, then walk to arrive at the breakfast at 7am, does this sound feasible? (knowing that the streets are closing round 7am but no idea of traffic for the drive in that early, or how long it will take).

Also as the Alamo rental car is costing $1883 CAD (including a $199 one way drop fee for Edmonton) for 8 days ($235 a day!) we've heard that some car sales will sell the car and buy it back several days later at about $1000 less. Anyone heard of that?

Any advice appreciated; I know the train would be the sensible and cheaper option for us but we're catering for our friend. Cheers

seattle
Destination Expert
for Seattle
posts: 15,782
reviews: 84
1. Re: Any advice on parking for the Stampede parade

I suggest you do a little more shopping for a car rental. $235.00 today is obscene. I'm sure you can do better

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
posts: 37,897
reviews: 54
2. Re: Any advice on parking for the Stampede parade

For your car rental, look into the UK company Canadian Affair. The seem to offer one way rentals between quite a few destinations to overseas visitors without a one way drop fee. I believe you have to contact them, rather than use the online system to get a quote.

canadianaffair.com/en/car_hire/#car_oneway

What is puzzling to me, is for the first time today, I notice the "Free One Way Drop Offs" link under the Car & RV Hire button is frozen. Usually it opens into a page that outlines the qualifying destinations. I don't know what that is all about, but it would be worth contacting them by phone or email.

Hanmer Springs, New...
posts: 11
reviews: 21
3. Re: Any advice on parking for the Stampede parade

Thanks; considering all our bookings for USA/Canada are through the same company we've always used and we've since rung to see if we can wheedle any discount without getting anywhere, we'll be trying around. Appreciate your advice, cheers

Hanmer Springs, New...
posts: 11
reviews: 21
4. Re: Any advice on parking for the Stampede parade

Thanks for this info; we'll sound them out via email. Cheers

Hanmer Springs, New...
posts: 11
reviews: 21
5. Re: Any advice on parking for the Stampede parade

Just an update on Canadian Affair and also another UK company insurance4carhire.co.uk. The latter is a great site for car insurance worldwide while travelling but to apply you need to be a resident of Europe. Canadian Affair requires the renter to have a UK drivers licence; rules us out unfortunately.

calgary
posts: 1,691
reviews: 3
6. Re: Any advice on parking for the Stampede parade

Now as to your original question re parking for the Parade; your plan sounds good, however I would leave earlier than 6:00 a.m. There will be thousands of folks heading down and the roads will be busy and parking lots will fill up early. Another option would be to take a taxi down to the parade and back - saves you having to find parking and then pay for it.

Calgary, Canada
Destination Expert
for Calgary, TripAdvisor Support
posts: 24,095
reviews: 67
7. Re: Any advice on parking for the Stampede parade

Hi Ozamber! In a moment of weakness, I responded to your question on VT. But it will be much easier to read here :)

I wish I could help you with the timing issue, but I don't know the answer for sure. I attended last year's parade, arrived on 6th avenue by the C-Train at around 8:30 a.m (I had bleacher seats or I would have arrived sooner). and noticed that there were a few people who had gotten good viewpoints in a parkade across the street at that time. The parkade was full by about 9:30, if I recall correctly. So 6 am seems safe to me. However, last year was my first parade in about 20 years.

As for the car rental situation, I haven't heard of anyone doing that resale thing in Western Canada. I would strongly recommend a couple of things to keep your car rental charges down:

1. Don't pick up your rental from an airport location. If at all possible, don't rent until 24 hours after you arrive. Sounds weird, I know, but it can make a huge difference to the rate that you pay, and for a longer rental, that adds up. If you rent from an off-airport location, they will ask you if you arrived at the airport in the last 24 hours. If you answer "yes", their contract with the airport authority (assuming that they have one) obligates them to charge you the airport rate.

2. I was going to suggest Canadian Affair here, as I seem to recall some Australians renting through them, but either I'm mistaken or their policies have changed.

3. Check out ALL the car rental companies (if you haven't already, of course). There can be a pretty wide variation in rates between the different companies.

4. There is a regional car rental company called Driving Force, with offices in Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver. They are more industry-oriented, but they do rent cars to private individuals. I see their vehicles around Calgary fairly often. Check them out with the Better Business Bureau if you feel uncertain: bbb.org/calgary/business-reviews/auto-rentin…

I have no idea if their rates will be better or worse, but you probably want to get a price from them as well as from the huge multinationals

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
posts: 37,897
reviews: 54
8. Re: Any advice on parking for the Stampede parade

ozamber ~ Thanks very much for that feedback about a UK driver's licence being needed for CA. Much appreciated.

Hanmer Springs, New...
posts: 11
reviews: 21
9. Re: Any advice on parking for the Stampede parade

Great advice, very helpful and much appreciated. Cheers

Hanmer Springs, New...
posts: 11
reviews: 21
10. Re: Any advice on parking for the Stampede parade

That's according to their website but I might email them just to confirm. If any different I'll update, cheers