With more than 74,000 in attendance at Super Bowl XLIV in Sun Life Stadium, Miami-area operators worked long and hard during one of their biggest revenue-producing weekends.
MIAMI — Regardless of which team wins, Miami operators always have a winning bet for the Super Bowl: All vehicles will be playing the field.
Throughout the Super Bowl week, operators farmed out work, added vehicles and chauffeurs, and emptied garages of vehicles as they scrambled to keep up with demand.
“We got a lot of work and it was continuous. It was very much welcomed after the slowdown that we had in 2009,” said Carla Boroday, whose Miami-based Associated Limousine Services rented 25 vehicles to add to its fleet and brought in an additional 50 chauffeurs for the event.
Boroday said she was fortunate to pick up the corporate sponsors of the Super Bowl, who made reservations two months before game day. Early reservations allowed her to better plan vehicle usage and prepare for more last-minute calls once the teams were announced.
Neil Goodman, CEO and managing partner of Aventura Worldwide Transportation in Miami, said business was “overwhelming.” Aventura serviced as many regular clients as it could, turning down most of the requests from first-time callers. Aventura rented an additional 30 vehicles and farmed out work to local companies.
“We didn’t have enough cars or drivers for just our clients,” Goodman said. “This Super Bowl is definitely a 24hr/5 day event. . . The never-ending energy level makes for so many last-minute changes that no matter how hard you organize and prepare, the challenges are overwhelming, especially in a city like Miami that never sleeps.”
Staci Garcia of Prestige Limousines in Boca Raton almost panicked when the New York Jets didn’t make the playoffs, as many of her clients are Jets fans. She allowed Jets fans to cancel their reservations, which were quickly picked up by New Orleans fans.
Garcia, who uploaded her company’s Facebook status with vehicle availability and updates, was surprised with the amount of business she got. “The Jets didn’t win and the market is so down,” she said. Still, “it was the most amazing Super Bowl we’ve ever had in 23 years.”
For Ft. Lauderdale-based Broward Limousine, it was a successful and much needed, event, said owner Bito Pimenta. His company received last-minute work from affiliates he had met at previous trade shows.
While Miami operators welcomed the huge revenue boost after the difficult economy of 2009, they were relieved when it was over after days of minimal sleep and long hours.
“I’m glad it came, but I’m also glad it went. It disrupts normal business so much,” Pimenta said. “You’re really happy for it, but you’re really happy when it goes because then things go back to normal.”
Thi Dao, LCT contributing writer