Luxury Coach & Transportation

November 2018

Magazine for the professional limousine, charter and tour industry.

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Page 19 of 75

18 LUXURY COACH & TRANSPORTATION NOVEMBER 2018 WWW.LCTMAG.COM SALES & MARKETING ORLANDO Wendy Kleefisch, owner, Brevard Executive Limousine TNCs have smothered a lot of the business in the Orlando region, Kleefisch says. They are allowed preferential treatment at the Orlando airport. "We've noticed a mass increase in businesses going bankrupt and going under, as well as smaller companies merging with larger companies to become powerful in number. The economic growth is bringing many exhibitors to the convention center, and that's where you have the best chances to provide transportation in the Orlando market. We don't see as many dinner charters as we used to. Buses are the number one vehicle moving in Orlando secondary to SUVs." There are conventions every week, a lot of theme parks, and entertainment destinations in the area. The newest attraction at Universal Studios, a water park called Volcano Bay, is drawing in the international crowd. Florida had many evacuees from Puerto Rico move in after Hurricane Maria– nearly 150,000 according to Fox News. They are being helped by a relief aid program to help them get jobs and placed in homes. "This will contribute to job supply and demand. "We also do a lot of cruise transportation in Port Canaveral, which is about 45 minutes north of the Orlando airport." The port is ranked as the world's second busiest cruise port in multi-day embarkations. RALEIGH Gray Hill and Jeff Shanker, owner and chief strategist, Blue Diamond Limousine and Black Tie Transportation In the Raleigh-Durham- Chapel Hill region, growth is spreading across the board, boosting all economic, transportation, and hospitality segments, says Gray Hill, owner of Black Tie Transportation of Winston-Salem, N.C., and Blue Diamond Limousine of Raleigh, N.C. "We're doing a lot of point to points, airports, meeting places, and clients going out and having dinner and back again. A lot of people are coming into the area riding around and seeing what Raleigh has to offer." He's also seen more demand from meeting planners. "The economic success brings a lot of multiple day-trips, and with that, convention goers looking to do things offsite," adds Jeff Shanker, Black Tie's chief strategist who has experience in New Jersey and Washington, D.C. markets as well. "We're getting a lot of road shows in the Raleigh region, but then they want to go out and see Wilmington for the day and head down to Fayetteville." Shanker credits the strong growth of the Trump economy along with record high stock markets with spurring more business travel overall. RICHMOND Randy Allen, owner, James Limousine Located just 90 miles south of Washington, D.C., the state capital and a historical hub of Virginia has evolved into a desired destination that sits along the banks of the James River and at the intersection of I-95 and I-64. The city also lies less than 50 miles from Williamsburg- area resort-style properties and historical areas. "Our business is up this year by 25%," says Randy Allen, owner of James Limousine, which has grown into a 35 vehicle fleet and acquired a few smaller operations in the past year. The company does about 80% corporate business. "With low unemployment and businesses sitting on record profits, the city is hosting more meetings and conferences. The local Richmond airport has set record passenger counts almost every month this year." The Bachelorette reality-TV contest this year came to Richmond for a 10-day shoot, where the sponsors and clients spent 20-hour days with multiple vehicles, Allen recalls. Allen's approach to gaining more business in a strong market would work in most other cities: "We are very active in the Virginia Business Travel Association. The combination of the service we provide and some of the technology sets us apart. You should have the ability to track vehicles as they approach a pick-up point and deliver trip status updates in real time in texts and emails. There's still a chance to stand out from the crowd doing basic things like that." Allen also finds the GRiDD Technologies G-Net platform, which connects operators for real-time affiliation and farm-ins and outs, works well in his market. "We are using G-Net as much as possible. It's made us more efficient, cut down on errors, and we're receiving more trips than we're sending. There are hundreds of G-Net companies actively sending and receiving." — ; — "We live in a world where everyone wants something right away. They don't want to have to plan for it; if you're not preparing yourself to be near- or on-demand, you're going to limit yourself on your ability to get more business." —Mike Barreto, COO, Eagle Chauffeured Services

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