We went yesterday mid morning, around 1130. It sucked mostly from a combination of 3 things that I either hadn’t encountered going in years past or were worse then I remember them being:
- Price gouging for parking: LA is a big city. And most big cities have parking problems. The city officials and its residents are aware of this fact, which is why cities like LA rake in so much in ticking and parking fees. Anyone that’s been to LA will know there are tons of privately owned parking “areas” that take advantage of events going on or just parking in general. It took me and my son 45 mins to find parking in a lot that wasn’t overcharging because nearly all parking meters were full as well. Directly across the street or near the convention center (1-2 blocks) you were looking 45-50 bucks flat rate for parking. 4-5, it was still 35 bucks. The father you got the cheaper it was of course. We had to park almost 7 blocks away for 20 bucks in some warehouse that was off of an alley that looked straight out of Criminal Minds. Oh yea and none of them have card readers. All cash.
- Tons of people: This is the main reason I didn’t enjoy it this year and why the pic above was the only one I could take: there were literally thousands of people there. I don’t ever remember it being this packed years before. So many people that I didn’t even get to check out most of the vehicles that I wanted to check out along with people having either no sense of personal space or just walking along like they are the only ones there. My son got bumped into so many times that we ended up leaving early. Mercedes, BMW, Acura (mostly for the NSX), Tesla, Audi all packed with people. I got that sense that its becoming less about the cars and more about “its an event that we should go check out just because”. Not to mention the lines just to get in. There were long as hell lines that we waited probably 20 mins in because the realities of the world now sadly require that people go through metal detectors and have their things checked for an auto show.
- A whole level dedicated to trying to get you to buy overpriced shit: Now stuff has been sold here in the past of course, but again, I don’t remember on this scale. The whole lower floor, what they called “The Garage” was filled with hot rod’s, low riders, and lifted bro status trucks with rims by DUB, who I didn’t even know were still a thing. Among all this was tons of crap, mostly toys and models, that were overpriced. Why would I want to by my son 2 Hot Wheels for $5 bucks when I can go to Walmart and get 4 or 5 for the same price?
Overall, I think we are going to have to go again before its over, this time on a weekday when everyone is working, and maybe take the train out there to avoid having to deal with the terrible parking situation.
Random observation from the show about Cadillac and Volvo:
- Both Cadillac and Volvo didn’t have as many people at their setups as other automakers. Cadillac had a presentation going on about the CT6 plugin that had all of maybe 10 people listening, the bulk of people that were at Cadillac were surrounding the V Cars (which seemed to have been purposely set up near Alfa, Maserati and BMW) and the Escalade variants. Volvo was sparse as well, being set up behind Alfa, and across from Infiniti and the overly packed Mercedes area (seriously. It was so crowded over at Mercedes you could have sworn they were giving C Classes away). Volvo had some kind of modernly styled room with computers set up for people inquiring about Care by Volvo. There was one lady in it when I was there and very few people were checking out the XC40. I overheard one man said he liked the styling of it, but it was too small for him to seriously consider, which after seeing it in person I agree with.