BATA partnerships, valet parking aim to ease downtown parking woes

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The Bayline route stretches from Meijer on U.S. 31 South, through Grand Traverse Commons and downtown, ending near the Holiday Road and U.S. 31 intersection, according to BATA — the route turns south at Tom’s Market after Labor Day, Lingaur said. There are numerous stops along the way and buses are set to arrive every 11 to 15 minutes from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily starting Monday.

Grand Beach Resort Hotel guests could find that handy, front desk supervisor Carrie Smith said. The hotel and nearby Sugar Beach, both of which LaBelle Management owns, are on Grand Traverse Bay’s east branch and near stops on the line.

Smith said she figures 75 percent of guests in Grand Beach Resort Hotel’s 100 rooms visit downtown at some point. It’s a bit of a walk at 4 miles away, so hotel staff often recommend cabs or ride-hailing apps.

“Hopefully that will make people want to go downtown more, because around here there’s not many places to eat compared to being downtown, and 31 is so busy that we don’t encourage people to cross the roads to get down there,” she said.

That’s just the idea, Lingaur said. More restaurants, businesses and organizations are coming downtown, as are the people going to them. This option takes cars off the roads and frees up parking spots, and it’s not just for tourists staying in resorts.