Thursday, August 24, 2006

Valet Inflation

Rising gas prices aren't the only jacked-up expenses for L.A. communters. I don't know if you've noticed, but the average restaurant valet parking fee seems to have risen across the area.

The new norm appears to be $5.50-- as witnesses today up and down La Brea, at spots like Luna Park and Sonora Cafe. The higher end can be found in Beverly Hills, where the price of valet at Mr. Chow is $7. Add a tip, and parking becomes an almost $10 proposition.

I still remember moving to Los Angeles ten years ago and being shocked, shocked by the idea of paying $1 to park in the Beverly Center lot. What?! Pay to park in a mall parking lot? I avoided it as much as I could by parking across the street at the Beverly Connection (free for 90 minutes) and then popping across the street.

Now, of course, $1 seems quaint -- the going rate for Hollywood & Highland, the Grove, etc. is $2.

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