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Valet Wars: Jack Boles Out at Crescent Complex

Ever since it opened in the mid-1980s, Uptown’s swanky Rosewood Crescent Hotel has used Dallas-based Jack Boles Services for its valet parking needs. But starting next month, the venerable Boles company will be booted from its contract parking vehicles for the Crescent hotel as well as for the spa, club and Crescent office tower in favor of Dallas’ Parking Company of America.

Adrian Norbury, the Crescent hotel’s marketing director, says the move was a “straight business” decision. “Technology advances, and our needs advance and change,” Norbury says. “We believe the new company has the ability to [better] meet our needs.” That hasn’t stopped the grumbling, though, by longtime fans of Boles, who call the move insensitive and a cost-cutting ploy. PCA couldn’t be reached.

The Boles company also has the plum valet contract at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, which, like the Rosewood Crescent, was acquired last year by the Cheng family of Hong Kong. The family’s New World Hospitality acquired Dallas’ Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, which manages the Crescent and the Mansion, around the same time. Norbury says the valet change at the Crescent was driven by the hotel itself, not by the new Rosewood ownership group.

49 comments on “Valet Wars: Jack Boles Out at Crescent Complex

  1. OK, I’ll bite: there’s a relationship problem between the Boles team and the new Rosewood owners.

    You’re up, Boles Chief Executive Officer David S. Hamilton. What gives?

  2. Cost cutting is a business decision. It’s not insensitive, it’s competitive. Just like D Mag laying off employees. You got to try and turn a profit. Have to take “emotions” out of business. If you can get the same (or close to it) service for less, than why not make the switch?

  3. Hotel caught off guard as no one told the members. The hotel says its about poor service and not money. I think most would respect the decision if it was about money.

  4. Business is about pleasing your customers. Ask us how WE feel about losing Jack Boles. It’s a sad day for Dalas!

  5. I will not valet with PCA. Check their history, check blogs about the places they serve. Check law suits filed. Check with prior business partners lease holders.

  6. There is no relationship problem between the owners and Jack Boles team. They have never met nor used the valet parking services provided. Rosewood Hotels & Resorts were not involved in the decision and leave operational decisions like this one to the hotel management team. As our sister property still uses Jack Boles and their ownership is the same, this is clearly not a relationship issue.

    Cost saving was never the primary goal and there are many factors involved in making any business decision. Our service to our guests is always our primary driving force and we believe some of the innovations the new company bring will further enhance our guest experience.

  7. What is all the fuss about? People change suppliers all the time. Why don’t you give the hotel management a little credit. They manage to run one of the best hotels in the city pretty effectively. We just don’t know all the circumstances. My friend pulled up in her 2000 honda civic and was treated like crap. Maybe if you’re a member and dropping big tips you get good service but if you are just a regular visitor you get treated differently.

  8. Who cares? If the hotel wants to change companies, they should be able to, without all the fuss. What is the big deal? Don’t Businesses make changes all the time? Bank of America changes their fees all the time. Now that we should be outraged about!!

  9. I am a member, and I get it. Money, service, any of the above, I’m sure the Crescent has their reasons. I have friends who have received rude service. Never happened to me. Business is about pleasing customers, but you can’t please everyone, right?

  10. The guys at The Crescent are so nice and have always been extremely nice and service oriented. If there was a change in vendors, that is one thing, but DO NOT malign the good guys and good service that The Crescent has offered for years. I think that the fact that a Chinese owner has taken over the Crescent IS A HUGE PART of the decision. The new owner and CEO have no relationship with Dallas and they don’t care about Dallas – it’s all money. I am very sorry to hear about this change and I and other members anticipate more bad changes.
    @RLM – even if you received rude service ONE TIME (which I doubt) why do you think it is OK to fire the whole group of people?????? What is WRONG with you!!??

  11. Adrian
    You state above that cost saving was never the primary goal. Are you saying that is one of the goals or a secondary goal? That would be in conflict with what management has told spa members as they have said it’s about service.
    I suspect it’s all about price and you are the spinmeister.

  12. @croissant didn’t realize you were all-knowing. Besides, think it’s Jack Boles they fired, not the great guys.

  13. Wow, I’m glad we’ve solved all major world issues so we are finally free to discuss what valet company a swanky hotel in Dallas uses. Talk about first world problems.

  14. I worked my way through law school parking for Jack. Jack and Callie started a great company. Lots of us former valets gathered at the Military cemetery in Grand Prairie for Jack’s Marine Funeral, he took shrapnel at Saipan.

    There are doctors, Dentists, Lawyers, Judges, executives in this city who made it through school working for this great company. David Hamilton is a class act. I don’t know any of the details about this deal, but I know these are great people, who I’m proud to have called friends.

  15. Really… veterans. You people are crazy. This is a decision by a company to change suppliers. Get some perspective.

  16. I am no spinmeister. I am simply stating that cost savings are not the goal in this decision. Providing the best service and technology are.

    Prejudging the new supplier is both unfair and unwarranted. They may be fantastic and if they aren’t there are more companies out there. It’ a business.

    We will continue to strive to provide the very best for our hotel guests, club and spa members and the guests of the office tower.

    Where’s the spin in that?

  17. Adrian,

    Spin? How about the relationship between your Comptroller and the sales management at PCA?Also are you saying there where not any disputes between the Comptroller and Boles management from a previous hotel ?

    Spin it anyway you would like but the reality is this was personal.. Sadly the only people that loose are the hard working staff, at least 4 have 20 years plus at the location.. Really you think if they wouldn’t have provided acceptional service they would have lasted that long? Of course the long term members and guest who know these men by name and have grown accustom to excellent service..

    In the end Adrian you will see and regret the choice you made.. I do find it strange that after reading the BBA that you would go with a company with a F rateing.. Then again Marketing Directors can be replaced as well..

  18. Adrian
    You didn’t answer my question. You originally stated above:

    “Cost savings were never the primary goal”
    This implies that they were in fact a secondary goal.
    Is it true or untrue that cost savings had anything to do with this decision whatsoever?

    I also see the BBB rating above for the alleged new company. Is this in fact the new company the Crescent Hotel has hired for guests and members?

    Thanks and I look forward to your answers.
    SM

  19. @Dakota and others
    I agree that Rosewood and/or the Crescent Hotel has the right to choose whomever they want to be their valet vendor.
    Some of you can make fun of the situation and feel free to do so or move on and solve the problems in the world that you really care about. If you have no interest in this subject, please find one that you do have an interest in and let us hash it out.

    I’ve been a member of the Crescent Club and spa for a long time and I am disappointed in 2 things

    1. I had to find out about this from DMagazine.
    2. It appears they have hired a disreputable company to replace Jack Boles and their employees

    The hotel and whomever is in charge of the members should be embarrassed this has transpired.

    Some businesses are commodity and price driven and others are service driven. Make fun of me all you want, but I’ve worked hard to get to where I am in life and I’m not thrilled about leaving my car with some horrible company. I will find another way to park or another place to go. Just like the Crescent can make business decisions so can the guests of the hotel and the members of the facilities and I’ve been meaning to try Equinox anyway.

    Jack Boles and their valet’s are all about the service and that’s why I use them.

  20. @Norbury-how can you say not to “prejudge the new supplier?” The BBB is around for a reason. Quit trying to cover yourself and hope that your customers don’t notice the difference between an A+ rating with Boles and the F rating at PCA.

  21. I would not accept the BBB as a measurement of a company’s worth. They have a bad reputation (as does YELP) for giving poor ratings to companies who don’t advertise or provide some sponsorship money. I don’t think Adrian Norbury is the decision maker here so please don’t beat him up. I’m not a member there so I don’t know what the direct implication is, but it’s valet parking. No one is going to die over this. If you want to get really pissed off about something, google Joseph Kony or Jerry Sandusky.

  22. @dgirl-since you don’t know what the function of the BBB is, or that Adrian is the Director of Marketing at the Crescent, nor are you a member and you don’t care who parks your car-why are you even commenting?? Go read your articles about Sandusky or Kony.

  23. @Daisy: the produce vendor is on the ropes, but that’s all I can say right now

  24. The BBB ratings say all I need to know about the matter. Nothing like getting rid of something that has worked out well for 30 yrs.

  25. How dare the hotel make a vendor change without contacting all of the Crescent members!!! It’s like they think they are a business or something; the very idea is outrageous.

  26. This is a great illustration of “first world problems” if I ever did see it.

  27. Jack Boles used to be the valet at the Ashton Building on the UTSW campus. That building is nuts with the number of cars in and out of there, and you can only valet. When JB was running it, it was easy, painless and the valets were friendly and helpful. Whoever the new company that has been there for a few yrs, they are just not very competent. It always takes forever and most of the time, the valet guys are standing around talking when they should be servicing customers (many who are senior citizens with varied health issues/disabilities).

    I am not a well-off Crescent customer, but the very few times I have been there they always made me and my Honda Civic feel just as important as the rich people. I expected snubbing but never got it. That’s why I remember it.

  28. My son who is now a senior in college is a die hard Celtics fan( Sorry Mavs) and when he was in HS always went to the game and pulled his beat up (14) year old jeep into The Crescent afterwards. The Crescent is where the Celtics stay when in town. Not once did one of Jack’s guys refuse to park his piece of junk or give him a hard time. A couple of times, they actually kept it out front because they knew he was just there to see the players. Jack’s team is a class act!

  29. There is No doubt that this is NOT a positive move for the Cresent unless they are looking solely at the economics with PCA. There are valet companies that provide SERVICE and then the others. Jack Boles is a service company. PCA is anything but a service provider. You get what you pay for. I’m sure this will all shake out in the end and the Cresent will make another change. I give them 6 months before switching again.

    I am very surprised the Cresent overlooked the Service aspects and made te decision based on economics.

  30. As I implied before, I’m a frequent customer at the Crescent and have been for years. I like the valet service immensely. Now that relationship is being taken away from me. How can PCA, or the Crescent for that matter, expect to replace that? All that valuable customer relationship will evaporate. It’ll take years for PCA to rebuild what the Crescent is throwing away. If they can.

  31. Rosewood made a bad decision in dismissing Jack Boles. It is their prerogative to not renew their contract. However you have replaced excellence with average

  32. First of all, if people want to vent about losing their trusted parkers that’s their privilege, at least it is til the Russians get here..and, some folks want to call this just a vendor issue, which it clearly is not..boles is not selling toilet paper, but service and trust..and if the established dues paying members want to bemoan losing their guys i say it’s admirable they show hands and stand up for their friends and colleagues..The world only becomes a better place when people get involved in matters close to their corner of the world.. “charity starts at home”. The more serious side of this is, the Crescent has historically stood for a better brand of service, and if draconian cost cutting overrides that, then say goodbye to higher standards and say hello to mediocrity..parking cars is not a high technology calling anyway, so to say the new group has yet to be identified hi tech advantages, please identify exactly what those are?..beepers and whistles?..i hope Crescent Management hasn’t forgotten that the customer is always right, after all, they in the end do foot the bills..

  33. For those of us who use Valet parking on a daily basis, I can assure you there are major differences in valet services.. I have had my Porsche taken out for a joy ride by a valet working for a local company. JB’s reputation is impeccable and well deserved through years of amazing service with hard working employees. The Crescent with its new ownership and business model will regret this “business” decision…there is NO better valet company in Dallas.

  34. Although I respect Crescent’s right to manage its business as it sees fit, I agree with others that there will be some “blow back” from this decision.

    Believe it or not, the quality of valet parkers can actually influence a decision as to whether or not to patronize an establishment. Victory Park, for example, has absolutely terrible valet parkers in its early days— I know many people who refused to patronize the restaurants down there simply because they didn’t like/trust the people to whom they had to turn over their keys.

    I suspect that some customers may switch to self parking and/or decrease the number of visits to the Crescent if the new folks turn out to be unsatisfactory.

  35. JACK BOLES PARKING
    From David S. Hamilton, CEO

    Unfortunately, Blog Comments are too often personal opinions unsupported by the TRUTH.
    The TRUTH of this matter is that this contractual conclusion is based on the Rosewood Crescent Hotel’s Management Team’s simple business decision to change valet parking operators. I received response from Rosewood Hotels Corporation executives that the authority to make decisions regarding vendor contracts was the responsibility of the individual hotel property management. I already knew that, but my curiosity required clarity. The TRUTH is the new owners are probably totally unaware of this matter, and should not be identified as knowledgeable or responsible.
    The TRUTH of the matter is that Linda Wan, the Hotel Managing Director, is one of the best hotel managers with whom we have worked. Our valet staff and our executives hold her in high esteem. She is driven to provide excellence in service, and she has developed a great group of service oriented employees at this property. However, we seriously disagree with her decision about who is the best valet company to serve their guests. The TRUTH is that we do not want our friends and customers to discontinue using this hotel.
    The TRUTH is we presumed that we would be continued at this location, although every valet company in Dallas is fighting for new contracts. If there is a lesson that was learned by my leadership team (again) was great leadership demands great communication. Our mutual communication with the hotel over the last several months concerning proposal and contract was inadequate and awkward. I will take the blame for being presumptuous. I considered our tenure of over 25 service years at the location to be reason for continuation. Regarding the customers and other persons that are upset about this change, I sincerely apologize for my part that influenced this change.
    The TRUTH of this matter is it is a business decision that was a heart breaker to our company and its employees. Most unfortunately, the emotions were exacerbated by the notice of our termination being told to our employees by third parties, rather than our management. Bad communication always fouls up everything. Regarding our company team, please note we are human and we are not perfect, but we are consistently very good.
    In respects to Parking Company of America I choose not to criticize and judge them, however, I believe that JACK BOLES PARKING is a better company and that is the TRUTH. That is also is my opinion and thank God in the USA, we still have free speech, and the vehicle of DMAG’s Front Burner blog to express our opinions and the TRUTH.

  36. I am opposed to this change as a member of the Crescent Club and Spa for over 13 years. The management of the Crescent has openly stated that their decision is based on inconsistent service yet in the next breath claim they want to keep the valets who have provided that inconsistent service, but only under a new management company. I have a good relationship with hotel management and I told them that argument is senseless. I believe it’s about something else because logic fails in the hotel’s response. This decision is reminiscent of shutting down Beau Nash for the worst performing overpriced Sushi Bar on the planet.
    The egregious act as it relates to members is that the hotel was not inclusive (their right) in making this decision. In my opinion, they should have asked the people that use this service regularly as a litmus test. The uproar is about taking away great service and failing to poll and communicate with your customers. I’ve chosen to resign and work out somewhere else as will others whether its one or one hundred. The Crescent will adjust accordingly. The hotel is not the lady she used to and management can continue down this path or reinvest.
    It will be interesting to see what solutions the office complex may come up with. It’s my understanding they own the surface lot and not the hotel, but I may be wrong about that.
    Regardless of where the breakdown in this relationship occurred, the members, guests and most importantly the long time employees will pay the price. It’s a sad day.

    @Adrian Norbury-you posted here representing the Crescent. I would like to publicly see your answers to the questions posed above.

  37. Don’t hold your breath on hoping to see the same employees under PCA. When they have taken over other contracts, they have made it clear (with the exception of one employee that I know) that they want an all new crew, no matter how good other employees may have been….

  38. Knock knock.

    Who’s there?

    Illegal.

    Illegal who?

    Illegal immigrants will now be parking your car at the Crescent!

  39. A core group of us spa and club members have written a letter of protest to executive management Rosewood Corporation and to New World Hospitality, new owners of Rosewood Hotels. If you are a club, spa member or frequent visitor or anyone else who values service and trust, please don’t sit on the sidelines.

  40. I have been around the valet parking business for several years in Dallas. I wonder how much money PCA Valet paid to get the Crescent Hotel account. It is known that they have paid or offered to pay big dollars to get certain accounts. Check out Henderson, Greenville, and McKinney Avenues where they bumped out other valet companies. Who got the pay-off for the Crescent, was it the owners or the managers?

  41. I quit Jack Boles and switched to PCA thinking I’d get paid more, a textbook ‘grass is greener on the other side’ situation. Money was around the same (average valet income anywhere), but what I did realize was the level of professionalism with which JB runs and PCA does not. This might sound cheesy but at Jack Boles you felt like you were a part of something bigger (yes it’s just a valet gig I know), but it was a great environment to work in. People actually called you by name and took the time to get to know you and that in turn created trust between the employee and the employer. At PCA they could care less about you and are very unprofessional about how they pay their guys, I won’t go into detail about that.

    At the end of the day all that matters though is the customer, and I really believe that those who “use” Jack Boles keep coming back because they sense Jack’s commitment to professionalism. It’s been a Dallas institution since 1946 as well so that’s just a testament to it’s long-term success.

    Looking back I regret having left the company, I truly wish them the best and I hope they’re able to stand strong so they can continue to grow.

    Pablo R.