By Eric Heinz
The Downtown Business Association of San Clemente will start a trial period Thursday for valet parking service for the Avenida Del Mar business sector.
The lot behind Sam’s Shoes will be used during the trial.
DBA officials said they have been crafting a valet parking system for nearly a year.
“We spent a number of months negotiating with a property owner to allow for their lot to be used,” the association stated in a press release. “LAZ, the valet company, is also absorbing the costs of producing this trial run for the two-week period.”
San Clemente City Council approved the program at the Sept. 1 meeting. The drop-off location will be in front of Beach Fire Restaurant, 204 Avenida Del Mar.
“We are at the point where we are risking losing customers due to inadequate parking,” the press release stated. “The frustration level (due to lack of parking) has definitely grown in the last year, and customers and business employees alike are becoming very vocal about their frustration.”
DBA officials said they will ask restaurant owners to offer incentives for people to try the valet parking service during the next two weekends and ask people to fill out comment cards for feedback.
The starting cost for the valet parking will be $5, but prices may change depending on the response to the service, DBA officials said.
The valet will operate from 6 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. on Sept. 10 through Sept. 12 and from 6 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. on Sept. 17 through Sept. 19. Following the results of the valet trial, City Council is likely to decide whether to allow the program to continue or commit to further studies.