Valet service trial may launch in downtown McKinney this summer

McKinney City Council discussed a temporary valet service that might launch in downtown McKinney this summer.

McKinney City Council discussed a temporary valet service that might launch in downtown McKinney this summer.

Drivers visiting downtown McKinney may be able to participate in a temporary valet parking service this summer.

McKinney City Council members gave Amy Rosenthal, the director of the McKinney Main Street Program, the go ahead to continue pursuing a short-term valet service.

While there are more than 1,634 public parking spaces downtown, many drivers still have trouble finding parking or walking the distances from far-away parking lots, Rosenthal said.

This 12-week program would act as a trial to gauge the success of a potentially permanent valet service for downtown in the future. If carried out, the trial would run from June 1-Aug. 31 on Friday evenings from 4:30 p.m.-11:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 11:30 a.m.-11:30 p.m.

During this trial period, valets would be stationed at the south side of the McKinney Performing Arts Center on Louisiana Street. The 11 parking spots in front of the MPAC would be used to pick up and drop off cars to be valeted, according to a presentation. Parking lots to park the valeted cars have yet to be determined.

Rosenthal said the cost of the valet service would be paid for by the consumers, and it would be at not cost to the city. Valet services will likely range from $5 to $7 per vehicle, depending on potential sponsorships, Rosenthal said.

For the last 12 years, downtown businesses Rick's Chop House, located at 107 N. Kentucky St., and The Grand Hotel & Ballroom, located at 114 W. Louisiana St., have offered private valet services for its customers. While they valet about 150 cars every Saturday night, Rosenthal said there is still a demand for this service in the rest of downtown.

“Being in the center of The Square as valet for all of downtown has the possibility to have more customers than just Rick’s and The Grand,” Rosenthal said. “I’ve had other downtown businesses ask me about the possibility of valet.”

McKinney Mayor George Fuller said if the trial is successful, the city would likely issue a request for a permanent valet service downtown.

While Rosenthal said she hopes to launch the trial this summer, the next step is to engage with downtown business owners to gain their feedback before a final decision can be made.

Editor's note: This article has been updated to reflect that the valet trial would run from June 1-Aug. 31.
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