About LCT's The Great Limo Race

LCT will be comparing how five operators with less than two years in the industry build their success, including the challenges, failures, and achievements. Read more

Players

Deborah Talbott

Debbie is a former purchasing director who after 20 years found herself unemployed in a recession. She immediately launched her new business from home starting with a single 120-inch stretch limousine and has since added a Lincoln Town Car Executive L to the fleet. Read more

Ricardo Garza

Ric, as he is known to friends, is 45 years old, married, and a proud parent of two boys and one girl. He holds a bachelor's degree in political science and spent many years working in the Houston Mayor’s Office as a certified conflict mediator and business developer. Read more

Becky Laramee

Along with her brother, John, Becky bought All Points Limousine in 2008. Their mother had spent time in the motorcoach and travel industry and had retired, but wasn’t quite ready for retirement. Needless to say, mother Bonnie is the office manager. Read more

Brad Gregory

Brad bought a 25-year-old limousine service in 2009 from a retiring owner. The company is located between Nashville, Tenn. and Bowling Green, Ky. He had no previous experience in the industry, working for the past decade for an automotive company. Read more

Georgia Berg

In July 2007, at the age of 44, Georgia became a long-distance business partner with her longtime Australian friend, Peter Smith. They met by chance while vacationing in Hawaii in 1993. During a 2003 visit to the U.S., Smith saw a Ford Excursion limousine and vowed to bring the first one to Australia. Read more

Race Referee

Jim Luff

LCT Contributing Editor Jim Luff is an operator from Bakersfield, Calif. After working as a chauffeur in the early 1990s, he joined The Limousine Scene in 1993 as general manager and later became a partner in the business. Read more

RIC Update 13: Biz Picks Up BIG Time

Last time I mentioned that I was flying to Chicago to close on a really sweet deal and that I would provide details on my next post, so here it is.

We received a call in January from the coordinator that provides the transportation for the two weeks of Mardi Gras in Galveston, TX. We provided limousines and a limo bus for them last year. This year, they wanted to transport everyone in a limo bus, so we decided to buy one.

I called my good friend, Archie Snyder of ALADDIN LIMO SALES; we bought our Hummer H2 from him in January 2009. I'm always looking at his website to see what kind of limos he has for sale. He advised me on the advantages of a limo bus: Customers don't have to crawl in; they can walk in and stand up. I've heard that from some of my customers as well. He had a Black Krystal F550 and gave me a really good deal on it.

So, I called my good friend, Mike Villani with Sovereign Bank, which had financed our 10-passenger stretch limousine in November 2009. He had an answer for us within 24 hours.

All this was going on in early February. I needed the limo bus here for the last week of February and first week of March (Mardi Gras). We wrapped-up the deal and I flew to Chicago to get our very first limo bus. These two guys were awesome.

If you need a limousine, I suggest you call Archie at Aladdin Auto Sales, and for financing call Mike Villani at Sovereign Bank.

Well, our limo bus got here on time to work Mardi Gras, which was the last week of February and first week of March. Other big events we worked in the past several months: the Rodeo Cook-off, held during the last week of February; the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, with concerts every day in March; the Final Four during the first weekend of April (Sat/Sun/Mon); and proms, which started on the second weekend of April and end on the last weekend of May.

The biggest surprise for us was how much the Quinceaneras clients like the limo bus. The limo bus has a Quinceanera booked on every weekend in June already!  This is great news for us because we do Quinceaneras all year; Quinceaneras are basically 15th birthdays which are celebrated year-round.
 
Among other company developments in a very busy 2011 so far:
  • Our marketing efforts to brides has paid-off. We have doubled the amount of brides we've done for this year, and June July and August look very promising.
  • We celebrated my daughter's 7th birthday in March. She wanted to celebrate her birthday at the Rodeo, so we had a limousine take us to and from the Rodeo. The Rodeo has the biggest carnival I have ever seen; we were there all-day and  it was awesome.
  • We contributed on a LCT Magazine article that came out in the April 2011 edition: "All Brides Don't Follow Limo Tradition" by Michael Campos.
  • We have an ad on the "The Regit," the newspaper of the High School where my son graduated from.
  • We are participating in an open house for several banquet halls in July.
  • The Wedding and Quinceaneras Expo 2011 is on July 25; we plan to exhibit our new limo bus.
  • We continue to exceed our numbers from the previous year. 
  • We are having a great year! I hope everyone is having a successful 2011.
 

Ric Garza
R&R LIMOUSINE SERVICE, LLC
Houston

Print | posted on Monday, May 16, 2011 11:50 AM
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