Expert Advice: Put it in Park
David Allen of Premiere Valet Parking
Price: Rates are calculated on a per hour/per attendant basis, with a four-hour minimum. Its approximately $22 per hour per attendant.
How many valets does it take to park a car? The ratio is usually one attendant to 15 cars, but with less room for parking say, at a party in the hills there is one attendant per 10 cars. Oftentimes, there is more room at a remote venue because they will have a parking lot. In this case, the ratio is one attendant to 20 cars. House parties tend to have less room for parking cars.
Where do you set up your keyboard? Special events, weddings, house parties, birthdays, bar mitzvahs. You name it.
Getting the keys from drunk drivers: Do not get into an argument. Alert the host. Turn over the keys to the host. Call a cab.
Premiere Valet Parking, 6601 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 201, Los Angeles, (323) 957-4177; www.premierevaletparking.com
Dana Hartley of Valet Girls Parking
Price: We charge $25 per hour per valet. Holiday rates vary. And in December our rates are $30 per hour, per valet.
How many valets does it take to park a car? That really depends on a variety of things, such as where we actually have to park the cars: Do we have to park at a lot two blocks away? Do we have to park two miles away? Are the guests all arriving at the same time or will they arrive staggered? We have done parties out in the desert or on top of a mountain with nothing but rugged landscapes as our backdrops. At a more remote location, we have to be prepared for how dark a night can be and bring several flashlights, walkie-talkies, parking cones, barricades with flashing lights. We would pack some food and water if its a long event, and hopefully the host has thought of supplying some kind of porta-potty. Then there is the other extreme, of high-end mansions with private lots, a restroom solely used by the help, and caterers who feed us beautiful dinners and desserts. Every job is as completely different as the people who hire us. Of course, we are in a class of our own, as we are women, and I think people appreciate that extra female touch. We remind people of presents in the back seat; were happy to watch your kids for a minute, or hold Grandmas hand as she gets in or out of a vehicle. And obviously people get a kick out of the very name Valet Girls.
Where do you set up your keyboard? Birthday parties, baby showers, weddings, anniversaries, rap parties, gallery openings, store openings, bar mitzvahs, all sorts of fund-raising events, theme parties, 40s parties, 50s parties. Weve had makeup artists transform the valets into Asian beauties or dress them in Moroccan styles with veils and gowns. Weve had shirts flown in from Mexico City. Weve done memorials, which I think the female valets add sensitivity to. Once I even did a dogs memorial where the guests brought their own dogs to come and say goodbye. I remember parking Drew Barrymores eighth birthday, and then again recently her wedding. Steve Allen invited us in after his party and played us tunes on the piano and fed us like we were family. The memories I have. Our biggest day is the Fourth of July, when Malibu lights up the sky and the barges explode with color. We work as many parties as we can take. The streets come to a complete stop after the fireworks, and with this great tradition we celebrate!
Getting the keys from drunk drivers: We tactfully try to see if they have a friend who can either drive them or take them home. If that doesnt work, we proceed to take the keys to the host and ask if we can have a cab sent to the house. It can be a tough situation to be in, and thankfully something that doesnt occur that frequently. The host is generally very helpful. We did have one incident a few years back where the inebriated person punched the valet in the stomach and threw all the keys off our keyboard and caused quite a ruckus. Fortunately, people these days are much more responsible about drinking and driving, and friends seem to take care of each other, and more often than not, they tend to take over the situation before we even have to get involved.
Valet Girls Parking, 1711 Lechusa Road, Malibu, (310) 457-6657; www.valetgirlsparking.com
Kent Simmons of Z Valet & Shuttle Service
Price: Events have several elements. Labor, transportation, and hard costs like lots, permits, equipment and ground transportation are determined by the event type, size and location. Rates are also calculated per hour per attendant, with a four-hour minimum. It works out to approximately $25 per hour per attendant.
How many valets does it take to park a car? The ratio is usually one attendant per 10 to 12 cars or 25 guests. Valeting at a residence can be simple or complex but is almost always possible. Often, at a remote site, shuttling is the only means possible for both staff and guests.
Where do you set up your keyboard? Movie premieres, the Academy Awards, wrap parties, house parties, bar mitzvahs, weddings, cocktail parties, holiday events and corporate affairs.
Getting the keys from drunk drivers: First, the host of the event is notified. Transportation can be arranged through taxi vouchers. Accommodations can also be arranged at hotels or by staying at the hosts home. In addition, Z Valet provides a shuttle service that will take a person home. The car is then brought closer to the property, and the keys are left with the host.
Kent Simmons of Z Valet & Shuttle Service, 4221 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 170-14, Los Angeles, (323) 954-3700; www.zvalet.com
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss LA Weekly's biggest stories.