Say ‘no’ to valet parking
Dear Editor:I implore you (Aspen) to nip the valet parking scheme in the bud (Aspen Daily News, March 28).The deliberate fostering of a class system that the words “valet” and “master” imply are counter to the mainstream Aspen culture, and it represents the money-separated style of the L.A. nightclub world.Hordes of tip-seeking aggressive competitors offering “special favors” to the rich. I happen to be particularly sensitive to this scene, and will go far out of my way to avoid such obnoxious snobbery. How could our liberal town go for such a class separation, run as a government-managed operation unless we have lost all of our character?Every time I drive to the Isis, the valet operation there gives me a mournful jolt as I observe up close the degradation of our town this kind of ostentation implies. And, I assume it is filching nearby parking spots from me and our peasantry.Questions:1. What tip will be expected? Will that be posted and fixed, so I don’t have to negotiate it each time with the valet, obsequiously seeking to maximize it via an aura of submissive special dealing for me? 2. What will it actually cost, including the tip?3. If I do not tip, will I be made to feel like a piker?4. How long to wait for a free valet on the way in?5. How long to wait for him to return from other customers, so I can launch the first round of his going to get the car?6. How long for him to get the car and return with it?7. More importantly, how many normal parking slots will be swiped by this operation, making my own independent parking task all the more difficult? Where will the cars actually be tucked away? Since the dream of the valet being car-borne both directions is obviously unrealistic, he must walk the distance that I should walk. No wonder he wants to cheat. Answers:I think I have underestimated the convenience of the parking garage. Its elevator will be a very short hike from where the valets hang out now. Fear of being mugged there is utterly ridiculous, but apparently our visiting city mice are paranoids. Cover it with animated surveillance cameras.Here’s a maybe acceptable scheme: One parking attendant at the garage who expects a tip, but can be avoided, similar to the baggage “helpers” at the airport. Or, (far nicer), for a fixed fee, added to the parking robots input. He’d have a very short and quick round trip, and would not have to or want to snitch spaces from us in town. His main role is to get scaredy cats out of the garage. Maybe he is staked out on Main Street.Please, just say no to this degradation.Nick DeWolfAspen
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