Luxury Coach & Transportation

December 2016

Magazine for the professional limousine, charter and tour industry.

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LIMOUSINE, CHARTER & TOUR DECEMBER 2016 15 Red Bank Limo Sold After 30-Year Run RED BANK, N.J. — Still bullish on the industry, operator Bill Atkins is retiring after 30 years in the business. After launching Red Bank Limo (Red Bank, N.J.) in 1987 with a single Cadillac, Atkins in March sold his six-vehicle company to Black Rock Limo of Jamesburg, N.J., which will run a total of 10 vehicles for an estimated $1 million in annual rev- enue. The name Red Bank Limo will remain. "I was fortunate to have what I always referred to as the best customers in the world," Atkins said. "I am grateful for the loyalty and that some of my customers have been customers so long their children have become customers also. I have built Red Bank Limo over the last nearly 30 years with an attitude of service. We specialized in high repeat corporate travel. I never wanted to try to be everything to everyone so I concentrated on serv- ing a niche market." Atkins, who received the LCT 2010 Operator of The Year Award, and the 2013 LCT People's Choice Award Gold Star Award, has been through it all over the decades. "The limousine industry is still very strong," said Atkins, also an LCT advisory board member. "I suggest finding out what your niche market is first, then specialize. Uber and the other TNCs had no effect on my business as the customers who use these services think of it as a commod- ity and don't value the relationship of a company that delivers a constant experience. If you're not different in a better way, then customers will al- ways choose the cheaper, lesser quality company. When you offer a quality product, you never have to discount your pricing." What's ahead for Atkins? "I have been very active in Toastmasters, which helps people to become better speakers, communicators, and lead- ers, all while building confidence. Since the sale of the business went so well, I will be serving as a consultant for the business broker I worked with to help others interested in selling their businesses or acquiring immediate growth by acquiring oth- ers. My wife Lynn and I look forward to our new chapter and what we love to do, travel." His advice to fellow operators? "If you are strug- gling or want to build your business to be more successful please keep reading LCT Magazine and attend the LCT Shows. Education is a very power- ful advantage." n OPERATORS OUT & ABOUT MICHIGAN OPERATION ALMOST AT THE BIG 3-0 WARREN, Mich. — Operator Sue Jarvis just can't wait until next year, when her company, Aristocat Chauffeured Transportation, turns 30 years old. So why not just celebrate it a year early, on the 29 th anniversary? Aristocat crossed that mark on Nov. 17, when on that date in 1987 Jarvis bought her first vehicle, a 1982 Cadillac stretch limousine. That choice threw her into the world of chauffeured transportation, an industry where she saw an opportunity because of stricter drinking and driving laws and a lack of options for corporate clients, according to a news release. From that day forward, the business grew and transformed, built on smart choices and her solid business knowledge. Jarvis then marketed the company to friends, bought a yellow pages ad, and networked with hotels and various local vendors. Within one year, the company added a sedan. Then, with a newly developed network, a business degree from Oakland University, and a business- savvy husband coaching her, Jarvis had the tools to grow fast. Five years later, Aristocat Limousine had 22 sedans and limousines to offer clients. Then to fuel growth further, Aristocat Transportation acquired the assets of two different companies; Peerless Executive Limousine in 1992 and Exotic Transportation in 1995. In 2008, the company also purchased All Class Transportation service. The company now has a fleet of more than 50 vehicles, specializing in logistics, groups, and corporate work. Information: CHICAGO COMPANY GOES ALL IN FOR BMW SEDANS CHICAGO — Pontarelli Worldwide Ground Transportation announced in October it started turning over most of its sedan fleet to BMW 7 Series, with four arriving this fall and 10 more by the end of 2017. "Our customers are raving about this vehicle. BMW really nailed it with this design inside and out," owner Art Rento said. Anuj Patel, director of strategic development, said the BMW 7 series has only slightly higher monthly payments than other common livery sedans. "It is through the BMW livery deals we have found this doable and sensible. Our customers and chauffeurs absolutely love this vehicle. All of our corporate execu- tives are requesting it. The 7 Series is a perfect fit to the essence of this company as well." Pontarelli also plans to buy a few Lincoln Continental and Mercedes- Benz S-Class sedans to complement its Lincoln MKT Town Cars and MKS sedans. The company will mark its 40 th anniversary next year. Information: n Pontarelli owner Art Rento with a BMW sedan and a Grech Motors minibus. The company has "gone Grech" in converting its minibus fleet.

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