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Patrons of the Golden Apple Dinner Theatre have traditionally parked in the lot behind the business.
Sarasota Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2010 7 years ago

Golden Apple requests more valet service

by: Robin Roy City Editor

The owners of the Golden Apple Dinner Theatre said he was blindsided when funding for free valet service outside his business stopped last month.

“Now we’re back in the same boat,” said Robert Turoff.

From June through August, the Downtown Improvement District paid for free valet service at three locations downtown, including on Pineapple Avenue at the Golden Apple.

Because downtown construction blocked Main Street and many of its parking spaces during those three months, the DID wanted to give shoppers and diners other parking options.

When the Five Points roundabout was reopened Aug. 11, most of the affected parking spaces also reopened — except for the parking lot where the Golden Apple’s patrons have always parked. That lot is where the Palm Avenue parking garage is being built.

The garage isn’t scheduled to be complete until December.

Turoff and his wife, Roberta, approached the DID board Oct. 5 and asked them to continue to fund the valet service.

“We used to pay for our own valet service,” said Roberta Turoff. “But we can’t now. Business is so abysmal.”

Board members were hesitant to make it appear that they were helping one individual business.

“The valet is providing parking for all of downtown,” Turoff said.

When the Golden Apple’s valet company, Southwest Parking Co., offered to pick up half the cost, the DID agreed to fund the other half, $500, through the end of October.

“I’ll support funding for a month, but that’s it,” said DID Chairman Larry Fineberg.

Contact Robin Roy at [email protected].

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