Skip to comments.Valet service is a 'necessary evil' in busy parts of city
Posted on 06/27/2010 8:20:16 AM PDT by Willie Green
Religion, politics and valet parking.
The first two are recognized throughout the world as topics best not tackled in mixed company. In Houston, valet parking can also divide friends and get blood boiling.
"Valet parking is definitely a lightning rod," said Mark Sullivan of On the Mark Communications, an agency that handles marketing and public relations for many restaurants. "It is part of going out. It is part of our social fabric."
Whether one makes use of the service or not, valet parking has a spot in the Houston area's landscape. The podiumlike stands with uniformed attendants sit like landmarks in front of hot night clubs, high-dollar stores and even joints that buzz on weeknights with regulars who would rather eat out than wash dishes.
For fans, valet parking allows elegant at-the-door arrivals that preserve heels and hairdos and create an illusion of red-carpet glamour. For these folks, it's all about the convenience and service.
Others consider valet parking a nuisance, an excuse for hungry companies to hog the good spots, forcing regular Joes to hike around the block for a meal or a drink. These drivers balk at the idea of turning over the keys to their automobile castle to a complete stranger.
Few are neutral on the topic. At least that's the way it seemed at Molina's Cantina on Washington Avenue on a recent weekday evening where Dorian Vela and Carla Llewellyn were enjoying happy hour with friends near the restaurant's valet stand.
"I love valet parking," said Vela, 35, who owns a litigation-support company. "I love it because of the convenience."
"I hate valet parking," said Llewellyn, 30, a personal chef. "I always feel like my car is a mess. I'd rather just park so no one sees the inside."
Love it or hate it, valet parking is a "necessary evil," said Lonnie Schiller...
(Excerpt) Read more at chron.com ...
I cannot believe people hand over their keys, garage door openers and a glovebox of papers with their addresses on them to a stranger.
Never used a valet either.
City planners are becoming less auto-freindly as time passes. They are also puting forth plans to discourage expansion to rural or subusrb areas. My solution is to avoid the big city like the plague. If they can’t or won’t give me reasonable parking, they must not want my business.
They’re going to have to pull my Siverado from my cold dead hands.
“I hate valet parking,” said Llewellyn, 30, a personal chef. “I always feel like my car is a mess. I'd rather just park so no one sees the inside.”
Guess which one probably has a “surplus” of entertainment dollars...:^)
Why? So we can pay alot of taxes to fund unions and watch billions get sucked into a black hole of corruption and boondoggles like light rail?
So we can pay alot of taxes to fund unions and watch billions get sucked into a black hole of corruption and boondoggles like light rail?
It'd be cheaper than tipping some "undocumented" illegal to park your car and go rifling through your glove compartment.
As I read the article, I wondered “what is Willie’s rail angle for this story?”
the answer is Metro! so you can walk even farther to get to your destination.
I’ve used it on rare occasions, but the valet gets only what is needed to operate the vehicle. We remove the garage door opener and any papers with ID before turning the key over.
A place for my “Button Men” to work when they are not on watch at the compound.
I ONLY give my car (F150, btw) key over — never my house, or work keys.
Do you really think that the same people who won’t walk a block and a half to a parking space will take public transportation?
Very prudent. I would like to think that most valets are concerned only with parking and retrieving the vehicle... but there are some that will willingly rob you if they get the chance. Trust but verify.
*I cannot believe people hand over their keys, garage door openers and a glovebox of papers with their addresses on them to a stranger. *
Um, have you ever heard of a VALET KEY? And/or throwing everything into the glove box or trunk before handing over the VALET KEY to the valet?
Still, parking in the big city is just another reason not to go into the big city—valets or no valets. There’s too little of it and it’s all too expensive. It’s cheaper in the long run just to build a bar in your own house and buy a big screen HDTV.
It’s a rip off...no need for it..just another way to take money from people.
Which part, Willie ? The toy train that's had over 100 wrecks ?
Or the largely empty bus fleet ? The one where you HAVE to go downtown to get anywhere ? Where you get to stand in 100 degree heat waiting for your bus to arrive ? The one that leaves you miles from your actual destination so you can enjoy a pleasant walk through Houston's daily downpours ?
I can remember attending a "public meeting" when Metro was being considered. A Hispanic gentleman stood up and said "I'm a working man. Why do I have to pay a 1% sales tax for busses I will never use ?"
There was no intelligent answer.
BTW, we have valet parking in so many places because the business owners located where there is no on-street parking, and where they don't provide a parking lot. In essence, fools who think they're in New York, not Houston.
No biggee. We have thousands of restaurants with adequate parking.
One thing we sure as hell don't need, and that's more Metro profligacy and waste.
“Um, have you ever heard of a VALET KEY? And/or throwing everything into the glove box or trunk before handing over the VALET KEY to the valet?”
Never heard of a “VALET KEY”. Besides, nobody drives my vehicles without me knowing them.
Bingo! Works for me as well.
Firstly, I see restaurants sectioning off large swaths of their lot for valet-only parking. I smell a ripoff there, as the parking is obviously available, but the restaurants want to make a buck off their previously free spaces. They are bastards.
Secondly, on Saturday nights you see a dynamic wherein a large and intimidating man will put out cones on a public street and force you to pay for parking. He has no legal or moral claim to the area, he just has cones. At any other time those spaces would be free, but because he has cones and is a ghetto thug, you must pay or risk having your car damaged by him or his associates. This is 100% illegal. He does not own the spots; they are part of the street. He is also a bastard.
They only get my car key, and it's a keyless entry dongle that can't be easily duplicated.
My glovebox is locked, and inside the glovebox is a switch that prevents the valet from opening my trunk.