Though we have had other similar responses to the parking fee, we have had many locals tell us how they wish we had done this sooner. From our restaurant servers, retail staff, concierge and more, our local guests are telling us that many of them stopped coming years ago because it had become more and more congested each year.
When they saw our commitment to changing that atmosphere this year, they decided to give us another try. Many took the time to write me personally about their positive experiences. They said the same thing in different ways — that this year was "like the old days": a relaxed, pleasurable holiday event. The only thing that shocked them was the level of mastery of gingerbread designs, compared to years past.
Over the past 20 years, The Grove Park Inn National Gingerbread Competition has become one of the country’s most celebrated holiday events, with coverage every year on ABC’s Good Morning America. For a long time we have been concerned with the frenzied atmosphere. The holiday season should be one of pure enjoyment, and that can only be accomplished by reducing the numbers viewing our Gingerbread display at one time.
We want to encourage you to take public transportation; the city bus stops right in front of the inn, and we will not charge you a dime. We are sorry that not everyone is pleased, but we feel we are creating the kind of holiday traditions that are more memorable than ever.
— Ronald E. Morin
The Grove Park Inn