I need a little help here — Scottsdale, AZ, and, I assume, other cities, regulate temporary on street valet operations. If a business or an individual holds a party, and opening, or whatever, they have to get approval from the local board or whatever, before the valet operation is allowed. My question is "why?"
Gotrocks Gallery has a function to hawk the opening of their new display of Antarctic Penguin Art and feel that since there will be a lot of people coming and there isn’t a lot of space to park in the area, they should help by laying on a valet operation to handle the cars. Very Fine Valet shows up in dinner jackets and takes cars from the attendees, parks them away from the area either on street, where they have to follow all the rules, or they cut a deal with a nearby bank to park the cars in their lot after hours. Everyone profits.
The gallery gets a better function, the city gets any revenue generated from onstreet or off street parking by the valets in their lots, PLUS they get reduced traffic due to cruising, and the bank makes a few bucks by letting the valets park in their unused lot.
Ahhh, but if you read this article carefully, you discover the real issue. The city wants more money. They now charge $60 for a one time use license to valet park, and want to raise it to $275. Not bad, a 450% hike. Mike Pendergraft, local Valet operator and Prez of the National Valet Parking Association, notes that he does 100 such events a month. That’s an additional $22,400 in revenue A MONTH from Mike alone, and there are, of course other valet companies in Scottsdale.
The city says they want to prevent congestion and keep it orderly. They neglected to mention that they also want the money. I’m sure the extra quarter of a mil in the city coffers each year would help out a lot in balancing that budget in a smaller town like Scottsdale.
In the end, Mike has to do a lot more paperwork, and either the businesses or the parkers will pay. Let’s see, if I’m a business and I have to cough up an extra $200 to have a valet, maybe I’ll pass on the valet and let my attendees fend for themselves — If the city thinks there’s a congestion problem now, think about what will happen when a couple of hundred cars are cruising around looking for a parking space.
Or is that the real issue? Does the city have a few lots around, but the valets are parking the cars elsewhere? I don’t know about that and frankly I’m making it up. Someone drop me a note and let me know if I’m right. Follow the money.