Home » Downtown »Valet Parking » Currently Reading:

Old Valet Parking Picture Upsets

April 7, 2009 Downtown, Valet Parking 14 Comments

On the photo sharing site, Flickr,I have  16,000+ images, posted since January 2007.  People find these through Google and other search engines.  So long after a picture has been posted I get an out of the blue comment.  Such was the case recently with this image from the Post-Dispatch:

I uploaded the above on January 16, 2007 – the same day I did a post about valet parking.  The picture has been viewed 271 times on Flickr.  A couple of weeks ago someone made the following comment about the picture:

The Picture shown above is so old and not even relevant. Why its still up on any site is beyond me. Midwest Valet is a good company and works with local business and non for profit organizations to make valet in St. Louis easy and accommodating. Midwest Valet appreciates its clients.

Clearly this person has a bias in favor of one of the companies I found most frustrating as I tried to prevent them from coning off all the public parking spaces in areas where they are working. I was out late Saturday night and valets had their orange cones out on Washington Ave. again to prevent the public from parking in public spaces on the public street.

In Atlanta, one hotel guest got a $284,000 lesson about using the valet:

Businessman Eric Vargosko thought nothing of it when he handed the keys to his rare Lamborghini Gallardo Spider to the valet at the InterContinental in Atlanta’s tony Buckhead section about two months ago, according to Atlanta TV station WSBTV. But by the time he checked out the next morning, the car had vanished.

It was found a month later – damaged. (source: USA Today)


Valet service is good to have but these companies need to be more respectful of public space.


Currently there are "14 comments" on this Article:

  1. the man says:

    it’s about time they got meter covers that have their name on it. i will say that midwest valet does value their clients, but that’s it. back when velvet was still open, and i was working for midwest, we were told to that when we saw a street spot open up, put a cone in it and auction it off to the highest bidder. people would pay $20-$30 to park across the street and not question the methodology.

  2. Steveo says:

    ^ Wonderful – that should be a criminal act. It is nothing less than stealing.

  3. jeff says:

    ^That happened to me last year in front of one of the places where Tangerine used to be (north side of the block directly west of 14th). There was an open meter spot and I parked, got out and started walking to where I was going.

    The doorman at the place yelled at me that I couldn’t park there unless I paid him $20 or something. I think I had just been reading a bunch of posts about valet parking on URSTL and immediately turned around and called him out on it. When I blew him off and tried to walk away, he said something to the effect: “Well, it’s not going to be my problem if your car is messed up when you get back…”

    So, I turned around again, asked him if he just threatened to damage my car and he just said, “I’m not saying anything…”. I asked to see his valet permit. He said they had it and he wouldn’t show it to me and then threatened to call the police on ME, because he felt “threatened”. I encouraged him to do so and told him I wouldn’t leave until he did. I finally got his manager out of the club to talk to me and told him what happened and the dude seriously looked like he just gotten caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

    Anyway, that really pissed me off and I think it happens far more than people think.

  4. Chris says:

    Easy solution: don’t patronize businesses who engage in this activity.

    [slp — not so easy to avoid the valets. People coming to Washington Ave to patronize other establishment or visit friends run up against valets taking public parking spaces for their own gain.]

  5. Tim says:

    I HATE these valet companies. Do they pay the city to take these spots? Is there some kind of fee involved for them to TAKE street spots for shiney shirt wearing douchebags that can’t park their own cars? I had an exchange with a valet a couple of years ago when I parked in a yellow curb spot. It was only yellow because of it’s proximity to a driveway that wasn’t in use. The guy told me I couldn’t park there and that he would have me towed. When I replied with a certain amount of invective and implied threat if my car wasn’t there he backed off. Grrrrr…..

  6. Jimmy Z says:

    The valets? Or, the clubs and/or the restaurants? Personally, I can see where the valets provide a needed service and help some “higher-class” operations do more business, which is good for both the businesses and the city (although I rarely use them – the city doesn’t “scare” me, and I don’t mind walking a block or two to a truly public parking space). But where things really start to fall apart is on the enforcement side – the city apparently has few requirements for issuing valet parking permits and makes little or no effort to enforce what few restrictions it places on them. Given that environment, it’s no surprise that abuses continue to occur and seem to increase in their audacity. This is a problem our city government created (through lax permitting) and needs to solve, hopefully quickly and forcefully, much like the private towing fiasco.

    Or should this be like the previous discussion on street vendors, where anarchy reigns and city resources go to the highest bidder? Seriously, it’s a bit hypocritical to advocate for both fewer restrictions on street vendors AND to also advocate for stricter restrictions on valet parking! Both involve relatively-small entreprenuers providing services to the public by using the city’s public right-of-way. Either ALL services should be tightly regulated OR all services should be provided on a laissz-faire, free-market basis. You can’t expect to pick and choose what fits your definition of a “good” or “bad” addition to city’s streetscape – either the public right-of-way remains fully open to the public or it gets chopped into more and/or increasingly-smaller chunks of quasi-private space!

  7. Tim says:

    I’m all for an open market for valet. But I’m guessing there isn’t and it’s just like any other thing witht the city, who you know and lots of red tape to keep out competition.

  8. Adam says:

    “Midwest Valet is a good company and works with local business and non for profit organizations to make valet in St. Louis easy and accommodating.”

    what a worthwhile cause! :))

  9. samizdat says:

    Take the cones and throw them in the nearest, nastiest Dumpster you can find. Guerilla citizen activism.

  10. Webby says:

    The valet parking for Jazz at the Bistro on Washington at Grand parks cars on the north side of Grand in the right turn lane, which is clearly marked as a no parking zone. So when shows end at the Fox and Powell Hall, those heading west on Washington who want to turn north on Grand have to wait in line with those wanting to continue west on Washington, but can’t because of all the traffic. Frustrating.

  11. USMC says:

    I have followed this discussion for a few years and couldn’t agree more with the opposition to the use of the ROW for a valet or any such private enterprise. However, I will ask, has anyone called the Neighborhood Stabilization Officer? Has anyone contacted the Alderman(errr…Alderwoman)? I would be more interested to hear those opinions (excuses) on the matter. There is a process involved and I could be mistaken but I haven’t seen a record of it on this here blog. Again, much love and respect, recap me if I need it.

  12. suiteSTL says:

    I call them out each and every time. There is no way in hell I’m paying anybody $20 to park in a FREE spot. I had to call the Valet out on last month at F15teen. I parked there got out and he along with a security guard worked hard at trying to get me to move and even told me my car would be towed or they would call the police on me. I informed them that if I came out with so much a scratch on my car the police would be called…on them.

  13. Steveo says:

    Wait – so WHO took the photo? (since you’re in it)

    [slp — Post-Dispatch.}


Comment on this Article: