New downtown Plano valet program starts Sept. 21

New Valet Parking Program New Valet Parking Program[/caption]

Valet Program Details Valet Program Details[/caption]

The Historic Downtown Plano Association will launch a downtown valet service to meet the demand of visitors coming to the area. The service will begin Sept. 21, HDPA Executive Director Alex Hargis said.

“It is a necessary service because we have to meet the demand of consumers and the attention coming downtown,” he said. “Downtown is experiencing a renaissance right now … As you increase activity and population that’s in the arts district, you have to provide the infrastructure.”

Services will operate during lunch Wednesdays through Fridays and during dinner Thursdays through Saturdays. Once operational, drivers will have two valet locations to choose from. One podium will be placed at McCall Plaza and another will be placed near K Avenue and Vontress Street, Hargis said.

Valet parked cars will not be parked in the main lots, Hargis said. Instead, the service will use private parking lots to keep main lots available for other visitors. Lone Star Valet, a Dallas-based company, will provide the valet service, and funding will come from the HDPA and Mercedes-Benz of Plano.

HDPA requested funding from the city at a July 25 City Council meeting, but city funding will not be determined until Sept. 12 when the city’s budget is finalized.

“Downtown Plano is revitalized and there’s so many great restaurants down there, and we wanted to be a part of the pilot program and see how it goes,” said Ashley Simpson, marketing director for Mercedes-Benz of Plano.

The service is complimentary for Mercedes-Benz drivers. Other drivers can get the service for free with a validation ticket from any downtown restaurant, Hargis said.

The idea of offering valet service came to the city as a short-term recommendation from a parking study by Walker Parking Consultants conducted in February.

Hargis said downtown visitors would start seeing more parking initiatives in September and October. Along with valet service, the HDPA is updating downtown parking maps to acknowledge parking issues in the area. HDPA will re-evaluate the valet service in November to work out hiccups and determine the demand, Hargis said.

By Cassidy Ritter

Cassidy graduated from the University of Kansas in 2016 with a degree in Journalism and a double minor in business and global studies. She has worked as a reporter and editor for publications in Kansas, Colorado and Australia. She was hired as senior reporter for Community Impact Newspaper's Plano edition in August 2016. Less than a year later, she took the role of editor for the McKinney edition.


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