Couple creates popular parking appPublished 5:58pm Sunday, September 30, 2012
“We started this specifically because we were lost” in East Lansing, Celeste Ross said of the Game Day Parking iPhone application she and her husband, 1990 Dowagiac graduate John Ross, introduced in August for this college football season.
The Granger couple, assisted by their four children, rolled out parking apps for the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Purdue in West Lafayette, the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and Michigan State University.
The $1.99 app includes information on nonreserved parking around the stadiums, such as cost, distance from the stadium, restroom availability and whether tailgating is allowed, with different ways to “filter” the data.
“It’s going well,” she said Friday afternoon while driving into Wisconsin with her husband, an attorney who is AM General deputy counsel. “Word is getting out, and awareness is growing.”
The Rosses, who have lived in Granger almost nine years, met in the Marine Corps. John graduated from Notre Dame Law School in 2003.
Celeste, who spoke off the cuff at Dowagiac’s Memorial Day service at Riverside Cemetery in 2006, is from Washington, D.C., but when she was 7 her parents made a “bold” move to Santiago. Her mother was from Chile.
“It was a great experience” driving to Panama and traveling by boat to Peru, said Ross, a reservist and public affairs officer attached to the Pentagon.
They have been assisted with the app by their children: Lili, 14; Duncan, 13; Aidan, almost 11; and Maisie, 8.
Two years ago John and Celeste went to the Notre Dame-MSU game and she recalls the proverbial bulb lighting up over his head while wondering where to park.
Their web site, www.gamedayparkingapp.com, lets parking providers enter information. They plan to profile parking at additional venues and perhaps extend the app to other smartphones, such as Droids.
“It’s a bit of a labor of love,” Celeste said, but by the time her children are ready to select colleges, a long list of campus visits will be completed.