PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - People in downtown Portland and the old port area may have been surprised to learn parking was free today.

Fairpoint Communications footed the bill allowing hundreds of vehicles to park for free throughout the day. In exchange it got to advertise its products on plastic bags covering the parking meters in a deal worked out with the city.

A marketing ploy for sure, but a move that benefits everyone. Fairpoint gets to advertise its products in a very busy area, the city gets guaranteed parking revenue for the day and people who come down to shop and eat get to do it without feeding the meters.

"I like to shop in this area and it's really wonderful to have the free parking. It's a great surprise and very welcome, thank you very much", said Jan Hill of Buxton.

In all Fairpoint took over 400 parking meters throughout the city.

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