The Freehold Raceway Mall is rolling out a ridiculous, yet smart plan to have customers pay for desirable spots in the parking lot. On the weekends, shoppers can choose to pay $5 dollars for a good parking spot. Right now, this is only for premium parking spots on the weekends (there also is a valet option).

The mall is smart. Monmouth County is the fifth-most affluent county in the state. People have money in Monmouth County. People are going to the mall to spend money, especially in Monmouth County. What's another $5?

If I was a shopper at this mall, would I be outraged? Of course! I know that this is going to wind up more expensive and more common. During the holidays, you can bet your bottom dollar that the Freehold Raceway Mall will charge more than $5. Other malls see this and are chomping at the bit.

However, from a business standpoint, this is genius. This is where I queue arguments about malls needing to do everything they can so they aren't completely demolished by Amazon. They're starting out with desirable spots, not every parking spot. So, if you don't want to pay to park you don't have to. Which, I think, is fine because you're going to be walking all over the mall anyway — what's another two-minute walk to the store?

Yes, this is aggravating. Yes, other malls are going to do this. Yes, it's only going to get more common and more expensive. Yes, we already live in a ridiculous expensive state. Yes, Amazon is winning!

But, in a free market economy, businesses have the right to do this. If they're going to start a trend, might as well start it in Monmouth County.

Happy shopping!

Tommy Farrell works at New Jersey 101.5 part-time as a multimedia producer. He graduated from Stonehill College where he played football and majored in Communications. Tommy recently graduated with his master's from Syracuse University's Newhouse School. Born and raised in Toms River, he thinks that Sawmill Pizza is the greatest thing since the first legal forward pass in football back in 1906.  

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