Valet parking in Bricktown has had its share of ups and downs the past several years. For a while, it was the wild west in Bricktown with some questionable operators casting a bad shadow on such services.
Efforts to regulate valet parking improved matters – but it looks like the city has an entirely new set of issues to consider. Before delving into this any further, read the following email I received from a reader:
Some may think its silly but there seems to be a battle every night at Mickey Mantels downtown for parking.
The poor Valets are caught in the middle, the police (usually about 7 of them) sit and wait for some one to park in the wrong
spot and then ticket them, whether they are the Basket Ball players or restaurant patrons, you might say what’s the big deal.
Since Mick Cornett and others worked so hard to bring them here we seem to ” not know how to act” other cities deal with this but in a more mature, professional manner.
The cops harassing the Valets in the reserved Valet parking and then the small stretch of CURB in front of Mickey Mantels.
You can go down any night that they have a Thunder game and watch the antics.
The players/patrons of the restaurant request their car be parked up front, it gets parked (with them being told that it will be
ticketed) then comes the cops to ticket. The restaurant then eats the ticket. You may think its the restaurants business to eat the ticket if they so choose but some of these cops get harsh with the Valets. Lets pettion the mayors office to designate that stupid curb as parking for the valets, what ever it takes.
I made a few calls on this matter. It appears that the city is working with Bricktown on yet more revisions to the valet parking regulations. But there are some other issues involved here that aren’t so simple to address with a vote by the city council. Let’s start by naming names and getting down to the nitty gritty here: the Thunder players and visiting players with other NBA teams love eating at Mickey Mantle Steakhouse. I’m not exaggerating – they are in love with the whole atmosphere, the bar, the ability to have a private dinner late at night after a game, and they really love the steak.
And that’s great. That’s money coming back into the local economy. But Mickey Mantle Steakhouse has no parking. It provides valet parking. And some of the players, I’m told, aren’t very comfortable with giving keys to a $75,000 automobile to a valet. And so some, I’m told, would prefer to simply park along the curbside mentioned by the above reader. And police officers, well, if they’ve got nothing better to do, they write tickets.
Is this what happens in other major league cities? Or are there special accomodations made for major league players? I’m not the expert on this one – so I went to Berry Tramel, our sports columnist, who has spent a lot of time in the major league sports world.
His opinion? The players have “posses” who can handle their parking needs and setting aside special spaces in Bricktown probably isn’t needed.
Now I ask you the readers – how should this situation be handled? Should the meters across the street from the Mickey Mantle Steakhouse be bagged on game nights and reserved for players? Or should we ask the players to park across the street at the Power Alley Parking Garage? Or should we trust this problem to be resolved by the folks at COTPA?
Allow me to introduce you to Shane Hampton, who has joined the community of OKC bloggers hoping to make a difference in their hometown. I first met Shane about three years ago when he attended the first signing by Jack Money and myself of our book, “OKC Second Time Around” at Full Circle Books.
Shane has shown an incredible interest in OKC development, its downtown, and various planning issues. He is, in some ways, a slightly younger version of Blair Humphreys. Shane’s website, www.rezoneokc.com, is still in its infancy but its ambitions are pretty clear and it deserves an early mention.
101 E Sheridan Ave.,
Oklahoma City, OK 73104
Phone Number: 420-3222
Whodunit Dinner Theater teams up with Spaghetti Warehouse for murder mystery dinner theater you will never forget! Whodunit is beginning it’s 18th year of performing in the OKC area! Our other locations are Cattlemen’s and Teds Escondito, visit our website Home
The Whodunit Dining Room presents comedy murder mystery plays with an audience interaction format. Productions have seven to nine characters, portrayed by our actors, who, during the course of the play, involve audience members by dropping clues, inviting them to act as judges in various contests, or asking for audience participation in specific events. At the end of the evening, guests are given the opportunity to vote on who they think “dun it” and why.
Audience participation is completely voluntary, and our shows are designed to be equally entertaining for those who choose to just sit back and watch. All shows are “PG” rated and suitable for the entire family. All of our plays are originals, written by Oklahoma Playwright, Earline Cottet.
We do private shows all year long!
Our regular show with dinner lasts 2 to 2-1/2 hours. WHODUNITS are served with a complete dinner and soft beverages. We are currently presenting public shows at the Cattlemen’s Steak House, Spaghetti Warehouse in Bricktown, the University Club on the OU Campus in Norman, Ted’s Escondido in OKC & The Yellow Rose Theatre in Moore. Prices and dinner descriptions can be found on the restaurants page. Please see the calendar page for show dates at each location. Liquor drinks are available at both locations. Due to new regulations, all shows are non-smoking performances. Attendance is by reservation only.
For all you Myspacers, check out the WHODUNIT MYSPACE PAGE . Lots of photos from our current and past shows are on there. Take a look and be sure to add us as a friend. We look forward to keeping you informed of our current events!
Contact: Terri Myers
Blair has hit another homerun with his post on aerial photos of Bricktown, past and present, to be found through Google. I am very, very impressed. His site is now on my daily “must visit” list.
Check out the article on OKC in this month’s American Way magazine. Nice mentions of the NBA, Bricktown, the Iguana Grill, Nonna’s, the Skirvin, the Oklahoma River and much more. And forgive me for saying so, but I think Paula is still very, very hot.
But you will indeed be seeing me appear shortly before 6 a.m. (then again, at that time, probably you won’t see me) on KWTV in the Bricktown studio talking about my new book, “Bricktown.”
Fellow Business Writer Don Mecoy wonders if the highway relocation couldn’t incorporate some wind-energy into the design.
Without getting too political here, it seems to me that with every presidential election one hears the party out of power describing the economy as being the “worst since the Depression.” And it also seems as if the information presented as journalism by the cable news networks is, shall we say, more aggressive and in-depth when it pertains to the death of Anna Nicole Smith (which at the time was presented as the biggest story in the world by CNN) or a sensational murder or sex scandal.
So that having been said, yes, clearly the economy is taking a beating. But how much of this downturn is being caused by fear-generating cable news infotainers? How much of this is simply a massive panic attack and how much of it is real?
And finally, I’m curious about what you think this all means for the momentum we’ve seen downtown. Is the crash going to kill everything going on in downtown Oklahoma City? If you were looking at buying a home downtown, have you now changed your mind or put your plans on hold? Are you spending less on entertainment downtown? Are you seeing your workplace cutting back?
I fully expect this post to generate no less than 20 responses. Anything less and I won’t share the next fun secret I’ve got with you.
(Yeah, I’m teasing again…)
I figured yesterday’s post might prompt some reaction. It might have been a bit more edgy than what I usually post on this blog. But if it’s not time to ask some hard questions of COTPA, when is the right time?
I heard from some folks concerned about the tone and substance of the post. Some say the Photography Hall of Fame has been a disorganized mess for years and couldn’t do a decent job at promoting themselves even in their earliest years here in OKC.
Others say the former chair of the group made it his mission to leave OKC. Of course, he’s now the former chair, so that situation is gone.
Then there are those on the public side who question if the private sector might get upset if COTPA were to offer space for free to a group like this, competing with privately owned retail space. Readers, what do you think?
Then there is the overall vibe I’m getting that City Hall isn’t hearing the true extent of dissatisfaction with COTPA. So here’s a sampling from just the past day:
The following is from a downtown business executive:
It’s about time some of the incompetence of COTPA employees saw the light of day!!!
What a unbelievably stupid decision!! I, of course, have only had to deal with the total incompetence of the people that handle the parking garages in many of the 28+ years I have worked downtown. With the rates their charging and the limited debt they have ever taken on, they should not have ANY bond holders if they were run efficiently. (At least in my opinion.) (I have told friends, a high school Key Club could do a better job.)
I moved to Main Street Parking many years ago and have always been pleased with their service (YES, actual service!!!). But they are owned by people that have to make a profit. My move was directly because of COTPA’s incompetence.
The following is from a leader in Urban Neighbors:
OKC CENTRAL on COTPA pop quiz: Freakin’ awesome
Now that’s keeping it short.
And finally, here’s one more comment posted on www.okctalk.com by “pixare” that pretty much represents what I’ve been hearing from the opposing point of view to the dealings between COTPA and the International Photography Hall of Fame:
It’s funny how in so many political discussions on these boards, people cry out all the time for “self-reliance, self-reliance, self-reliance.” Yet, when it comes to this project, it’s all about “city, save them.”
What is the IPHOF doing to SAVE itself?
As someone who has a “second career” in photography and the arts, I rarely see any word or hear anything about the IPHOF in the media.
A few questions:
What are they doing to promote themselves and attract more tourists?
What are they doing to raise funds for their organization to keep operating?
What are they doing to find grant and arts support from local, regional and national foundations and funding sources to bring in exhibitions the public wishes to see?
It seems to me before everyone starts pointing fingers at City Hall they need to ask themselves what, exactly, the IPHOF is doing to make things work for themselves. I mean, it appears (and I have little inside information on the matter), that they’re just looking for a gov’t handout without doing any additional work to make things happen.
If it were not for Carolyn Hill and the $40 million she was able to secure in PRIVATE (read: non-government) support, we wouldn’t have a beautiful, new downtown museum of art.
Look at the National Cowboy Hall, the OKC Art Museum, and even the Science Museum of Oklahoma. Look at IAO, Untitled and CityArts. They are all active in attracting tourism and providing self-support and funding for their programs through active funding programs.
Seems these groups have managed to find a way to succeed where the IPHOF has not. Frankly, as a photographer, I’ve been to several of their exhibits, and haven’t found anything that critically exciting nor historically important. I also find it interesting that they don’t reach out much to the local photography community as a BASE of support.
I believe before they start screaming about “we’re going to move,” they need to clean their own house first.
Heck if the “International Gymnastics Hall of Fame” can find a base of support in downtown OKC (at least I think it’s still down in the conncourse), then surely the IPHOF can do something to for themselves.
Don’t mean to sound like a Donald Downer, but it’s just a contrary opinion here. I’d love to see them stay, but don’t see that much of a loss if they do go, especially if they are not active in making things happen for themselves.