Published on October 15, 2019

Free valet parking a hit at Essentia Health

Amid a surge in demand, Essentia Health is expanding the hours of its free valet parking for visitors to our downtown Duluth medical campus.

To better serve our patients and their families during Vision Northland construction, this feature is now offered from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, with the exception of holidays. It’s accessible by driving up to the main entrance of the Duluth Clinic’s Second Street Building (Miller Dwan) at 502 East Second Street.

Valets will park vehicles and then have them waiting post-appointment; specific instructions will be provided at the time of drop-off. If it’s after 6:30 p.m., patients can call security to get their keys, and their vehicles will be waiting at the entrance.

Essentia Guest Services staff are present to assist and direct all patients, many of whom have been “amazed” at the free service, according to Margo Rasmussen, Guest Services Supervisor at Essentia. Rasmussen has heard from patients who initially were nervous about being late for their appointments because of construction, only to receive what they’ve called “royal treatment.”

“It has been easing their minds as many of them were initially very concerned about the onset of construction, with all the road closures and also with the closing of the Blue Ramp, how they would manage to find parking,” Rasmussen said. “Instead, this new valet service has taken out the guesswork and is helping to provide an extra level of service to our patients, along with Guest Services, as valet will park their cars and pull them up to the entrance when they are ready to leave.”

Parking also is available in our Green and Red ramps, as well as the city ramp on First Street.

“While we’re excited about the construction of our replacement hospital bed tower, we realize parking and navigation challenges will arise,” said John Vidmar, Senior Director of Facilities at Essentia. “Our goal is to make it as seamless as possible for patients to get around our campus, and valet parking has proven very effective at doing that.”

Since its debut on Sept. 9, valet service — from the company HealthPark — has parked nearly 2,000 vehicles. That includes at least 100 every day since Sept. 30.

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