Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Valet parking etiquette and safety tips

Those who have cars and know the hassles of finding parking spaces agree that valet parking is a convenient option. Imagine looking for a free space in a full lot while in a hurry or having to walk through the end of the parking lot in high heels. These situations prove that valet parking services are a godsend. Despite the benefits, some are still wary about handing over their keys for various reasons. Fortunately, there are ways to allay those apprehensions.

Image Source: www.wikimedia.org
One concern about using valet parking is that some unscrupulous attendants might take the guest's car for a spin or worse, trash it. To make sure this doesn't happen, take note of the mileage on the odometer, as well the car's contents (but try not to leave any valuables in it). Take a picture if possible, but writing down the mileage and double-checking the vehicle also works. Make a big show of this so the attendant sees that you are aware of your car's state.

Image Source: www.originalparking.com
Some carjackers also take advantage of that small window of time when you get out of the car to jump in and steal it. This usually happens if the car engine is still running when the exchange is being made with the valet. To avoid this predicament, turn the car engine off, get out of the car, close the door, and give the keys to the attendant.

For those unsure about valet parking etiquette, long-time valet parking clients believe in giving a tip at the drop-off point to ensure better treatment of one's car. Gratuity is optional when leaving it with the valet parking service, but tipping $1 to $5 when the car is returned is par for the course. It's also customary to tip more when it's raining or if the attendant helps with heavy luggage.

Leaving your car with a valet service shouldn't be nerve-wracking. Most hotels and restaurants work with trusted service providers who take good care of their clients' cars. However, being extra cautious about whom you leave your car with by following the tips mentioned above is always a great idea.  
Image Source: www.denisonparking.com

To learn more about the benefits of hiring valet parking services, follow this Anthony Preza Facebook page.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

REPOST: City to end free parking

An aggressive car clamping policy is slated to bring in greater revenues in the Bermuda island's largest and capital city, Hamilton. The city has been divided into three parking zones, and each zone has a corresponding parking price.

The new parking zones for Hamilton.
Image source: royalgazette.com

The cash-strapped Corporation of Hamilton is to introduce pay-and-display parking tariffs on all roads in the city in an effort to increase revenues.

And plans for an “aggressive” car clamping policy and an increase in the number of traffic wardens on the streets are also in the pipeline as the municipality struggles to maintain essential infrastructure services.

Next month, parking fees will be introduced to streets that historically motorists have not had to pay to park on, while parking rates will also change.

The Corporation’s Chief Operating Officer and Secretary to the City of Hamilton, Edward Benevides said: “It is anticipated that in mid- to late-October, all streets in the city will become pay and display streets. The city has been divided into three parking zones. There will be different prices for different zones in the city.”

Also starting next month, vehicles parked illegally on the streets of the City will be clamped. Currently, the Corporation only clamps vehicles illegally parked in its own car parks, while traffic wardens, who work for the Bermuda Police Service, are responsible for issuing parking tickets throughout Hamilton.

But Mr Benevides said that the municipality had regularly received complaints from residents whose own parking spaces have been “continually” used by other motorists.

“We will be addressing this matter by aggressively clamping cars parked in spaces designated for residents,” he warned.

But in one piece of good news for motorists, the daily rate to leave vehicles at Bull’s Head and Elliott Street car parks will be reduced from $7 to $5. Easy Park meters and pay and display tickets will continue to be in use within these car parks and will be adjusted to reflect the new price structure.

Mr Benevides said City chiefs had addressed parking issues “holistically” and that the changes “will benefit all motorists who use the streets of Hamilton”.

But he also implied that the primary reason the measures were being introduced was “to generate new revenue to restore and maintain the infrastructure of the city”.

“Given the declining revenues, the City has had to eliminate and reduce a number of services in order to maintain a balanced budget,” he said.

“One of the services which has suffered over the years is the resurfacing of city streets. With the new revenue generated, we will use that money to begin a street resurfacing programme, which is one of the infrastructure programmes that will be re-established or upgraded and maintained. Others include modernising the City’s sewage structure and a comprehensive review of the drainage system.”

Mr. Benevides added that “a number of new Parking Enforcement personnel have been hired in the last few weeks” which had resulted in an increase in the number of vehicles clamped.

“In order to avoid being clamped motorists are urged to read the signage on the sidewalks and in car parks before they park and leave their vehicles,” Mr Benevides said.

“Full details of the ordinance together with the new City Parking Zones Map can be found on our website. As we move forward with the campaign, I will encourage everyone to return to cityofhamilton.bm for updates and information on the parking changes that will be implemented.”

*The city has been divided into three parking zones. There will be different prices for different zones in the city. The zones and per hour rates are as follows;

Zone 1 parking will cost $2.00 an hour and covers all streets between Front Street and Church Street, including Church Street.

Zone 2 parking will cost $1.50 an hour and covers all streets between Church Street and Dundonald Street, including Dundonald Street.

Zone 3 parking will cost $1.00 an hour and covers all streets between Dundonald Street and North Street.

Anthony Preza is a parking management expert and the owner of Park Plus Valet Service, Inc., a privately held parking corporation operating in the Tri-State area (New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut). Visit this website for more details.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

REPOST: Bristol Zoo 'could lose £500,000 a year' if parking plans refused

Image Source: bbc.co.uk
BBC News reports that the Bristol Zoo Gardens could suffer financially if plans to construct a 700-space car park on the Downs don’t push through.

Bristol Zoo Gardens could lose over £500,000 a year if its application to put a 700-space car park on the Downs is turned down, its boss has said.

The zoo wants to renew planning consent to use land off Ladies Mile as an overflow car park on up to 60 days a year, for five years.

Groups including Clifton and Hotwells Improvement Society and Bristol Ramblers have opposed the plans.

The application will be discussed by the city council on 24 July.

'No detrimental impact'

The zoo has been using the overflow car park on the Downs since the 1970s.

Dr Bryan Carroll, the zoo's chief operating officer said a refusal of the application would have a "significant impact on our business".

"Our commitment to conservation shows that we would not be requesting this overflow facility if we believed, in any way, that we would damage the land.

"We don't park on there on wet days and we closely monitor the impact of use. Ecological studies have shown no detrimental impact since 2006 when the studies started."

Organisations including Destination Bristol, Clifton College and some people who live near to the zoo, support the application.

Mr Carroll said the application was submitted after carrying out a feasibility study to investigate any potential alternatives.

"This work has shown that there is a need to continue overflow parking on Ladies Mile for some years to come, in order to meet the travel needs of its visitors in the most responsible way," he added.

'No Plan B'

Bristol Ramblers believe the application should be refused because it would have "an adverse effect on people's enjoyment of the Downs".

The group also said in a statement: "The site of the car park is on several routes which are popular with walkers and joggers.

"The site is particularly important because areas for carefree, uninterrupted walking are limited by other activities on the Downs."

Richard Bland from Clifton and Hotwells Improvement Society said: "We have been campaigning against this for the past 10 years and are glad others are joining in.

"The zoo uses it [the overflow car park] with great care and responsibility but that's not really the point - it encourages others to park on the Downs.

"Our concern is that they have no Plan B - if the council turns it down they have not dreamed up an alternative."

Anthony Preza, owner of Park Plus Valet Parking Service, Inc., keeps a close watch on issues and debates with themes of paradises and parking lots. This website dishes insights on the challenges and opportunities in the parking industry, especially where concerns about the environment are compelling considerations.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Parking management 101

Image Source: wired.com

There are many facets to running a business smoothly. Orders for supplies must always be made just in time—not beforehand—to save on storage, facilities must always be in top shape, and staff members must always be at their very best behavior. These and many other seemingly small details comprise the customer experience. Any slip ups may lead to a complaint, bad review, or in the worst case, loss of revenue. As much as possible, therefore, business owners must invest in ensuring their customers are happy with the place, the product, and the service.

Image Source: kootation.com

When piecing together how a business will achieve this, several traditional perks come to mind: refreshments upon entry, freebies when guests leave, and recently, valet parking. Historically, valet parking is a feature provided only in exclusive and upscale locations. Having it in a regular business adds class to the scene and makes customers feel extra special.

In general, businesses that operate out of their own location need to allot ample parking space for the customers they expect to receive. Establishments, like shopping malls or office buildings, must require a ticketing system to secure cars from theft and ensure that space is being paid for. Managing the staff to man the ticketing booth and to protect the lot is a difficult task. Building the lot is the easiest part; managing it is practically another business on its own.

Image Source: essexinn.com

Valet parking makes things easy for both the guests and the business owner. Customers are always happy not to have to wait in line to find space to park, and are equally appreciative of having their car taken to them in the driveway. Having designated drivers, who take the worry off the customers, results in an overall great visiting experience. Knowing who those in charge of bringing cars in and out of the lot also makes it easy for the business owner to manage.

To learn more about parking management, follow valet service expert Anthony Preza on this Twitter account.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Determining the efficiency of a valet parking service

Convenience is the basic advantage of a valet parking service. Car owners who have had a hard time searching for a secure parking space can valet-park without the hassle. However, convenience is just one of the many benefits customers can acquire from this service; other advantages include safety, time efficiency, and space maximization.

Image Source: parkplusvaletservice.com

 Valet parking makes it possible to accommodate “stack parking,” where valet attendants park vehicles in a “vertical space” to make it easy to free a blocked-in car. This type of parking is ideal for events where guests arrive at the same time, such as a wedding reception or a conference.

Valet parking also allows car owners to park their automobiles closer and straighter than the conventional set-up. This saves them space in the parking lot or garage, and prevents the inconvenience of having them go through several floors by stuffing everything on one storey.

Image Source: parkplusvaletservice.com

 Many parking company owners develop a system where operations are made efficient even when the customer traffic reaches its peak. Anthony Preza of ParkPlus Valet Parking Service, for example, employs rigorous training and auditing programs that promote high-quality parking management and service excellence. He and his executive team assign the responsibility to their employees for maintaining a reputation for professional service, honesty, and commitment.

 Majority of professional valet attendants are well-informed about almost every make and model of car and the specific features, including aftermarket alarm systems and keyless ignitions.

Video Source: youtube.com

More about the valet parking industry can be read here.