Luxury Coach & Transportation

April 2015

Magazine for the professional limousine, charter and tour industry.

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LIMOUSINE, CHARTER & TOUR APRIL 2015 13 NORTH CAROLINA LIMO SERVICE IMPROVES WITH THE DECADES CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Rose Chauffeured Transportation, a ground transportation provider headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., celebrated 30 years in business on March 23. From operating a single Rolls Royce in 1985 under the name Rolls Limousine Ltd, Rose's leaders have grown the company an av- erage of 10% each year for three decades. Today, Rose Chauf- feured Transportation operates 95 vehicles, employs more than 130 workers, and in 2014 surpassed $10 million in revenue. "We took it from nothing," said H.A. Thompson, Rose's pri- mary founder, in a recent press release. Thompson operated the company's frst vehicle out of his driveway with his two sons. "Now we provide a living for over a hundred families." He cites a culture of hospitality as one of the keys to Rose's success. "Hospitality is the thrill you get from making the cus- tomer happy," he said. "There's an art to seeing a need before it happens, and delivering on it. That's what the business is about—it's not about the cars." Andy Thompson, H.A.'s son who drove the vehicles on the weekends in the early years and is now vice president of sales and partial owner, said their success stems from setting goals. "When I was 16, we had a goal of $500 a week," he said. "Ev- ery year we'd set a new goal." Another key is changing with the times, H.A. added. The company's frst passengers, on March 23, 1985, were Jerry and Debbie Keck who were married at the top of Charlotte's frst roller coaster, Thunder Road. Four years later, Rose purchased a limousine to broaden the appeal of its service, and changed the company name to Rose Limo. As the business grew, Rose added a few sedans for rides to the airport. In 1995, it bought a mini-bus to transport small groups. In 2002, Rose hired Tom Holden as director of operations to grow the company beyond its small family-run roots. "We wouldn't be where we are today without him," Andy said. In 2008, the company added a motorcoach to the feet, and in 2012 changed the company name to Rose Chauffeured Transportation. Rose now runs two core branches of business: In-town and airport transportation for individuals via sedan and SUV, and shuttles and group transportation via mini-bus and motor- coach. Rose owns 18 motorcoaches, 14 mini-buses, 16 sedans, six SUVs, and four executive vans. It also runs 37 vehicles owned by their chauffeurs, who are licensed, insured, and contracted with Rose under the brand RCT, which operates out of the Westin in downtown Charlotte. Over the years, Rose and its leadership have won many awards in Charlotte, the region, and nationally, including the recently announced prestigious Charter Bus Operator of the Year 2015 award from LCT Magazine. Holden, who has helped the company grow from $1 million in revenue in 2002 to $10 million in 2014, emphasized that the company's commitment to innovation hasn't changed in 30 years. He oversaw the recent launch of Rose's new app, RideRose, which allows passengers to access RCT chauffeurs on demand from their mobile devices. Now he's moved on to launching Rose's second app, RoseCharters, which allows groups and their families to track the location of their vehicles in real time. "People expect the convenience of accessing a car from their mobile devices," said Andy, who agreed that apps will play a big part in Rose's future. "I expect to see this company grow to $15 million in the next three years," Holden said. At 30 years old, Rose does not intend to slow down any more than its founder does at 81. "I'm having too much fun to quit," H.A. said. HOUSTON OPERATION EARNS ANGIE'S LIST AWARD HOUSTON, Texas -- Elite Worldwide Transportation Solutions (formerly Elite Limousines of Houston) has earned the service industry's coveted Angie's List Super Service Award for the second year in a row, refecting an exemplary year of service provided to members of the local services marketplace and consumer review site in 2014. "In the transportation industry, we have to handle many variables, many of them out of our direct control," said Renzo Ormsbee, President of EWTS, in a press release. "This can lead to service issues and deviations that can impact client satisfac- tion. At Elite, we have invested in a high-performance team of in-house transportation professionals who accurately and seamlessly manage ground transportation needs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week." Angie's List Super Service Award 2014 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, which include an "A" rating in overall grade, recent grade, and review period grade. The company also must be in good standing with Angie's List, pass a background check, and abide by Angie's List operational guidelines. Service company ratings are updated daily on Angie's List. Companies are graded on an A through F scale in areas ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality. "Only about 5% of the transportation companies in the Greater Houston/Galveston area have performed so consis- tently well enough to earn our Super Service Award," said Angie's List Founder Angie Hicks. "It's a really high standard." Information: n Rose Chauffeured Transportation founder H.A. Thompson (R) with sons Andy and Jeff in the earlier days of the 30-year-old company. H.A. still runs the company at age 81 with Andy working as vice president. AWARDS, ACHIEVMENTS & ACCOLADES

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