Resort Wedding Traffic Ideal Niche for Operator

Posted on May 1, 2006 by LCT Staff - Also by this author

For generations, the picturesque landscape of Martha’s Vineyard has been a popular destination for weddings. The beaches, lush vegetation, and abundant grapevines make it a wedding photographer’s dream; the colonial architecture gives it a quaintness that is perfect for nuptials; and the lack of limousine companies make it ripe for the picking. When Leslie Hurd decided to open a limousine service in Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., it was only as a sideline business to her other company, Hurd Publishing, a publisher of honeymoon and wedding magazines.

“I thought it would be great if we had a limousine company to compliment the publishing company,” she says. “People were renting limousines from off the island, which is very expensive. I decided we needed to have a local company to provide a less expensive alternative.”

Vineyard Limousine creates custom wedding packages according to the client’s needs or preferences. “We listen to what clients like and what type of atmosphere they want before making any suggestions,” says Hurd. “It’s better than having standard wedding packages because every client has different tastes. Every bride has her own idea as to how her wedding should look.”

Whether a client wants champagne, roses, and a Rolls Royce or wine, chocolates, and a stretch limousine, Vineyard will create a package tailor-made for that client. The company even works with a local trolley service to accommodate large bridal groups.

Hurd recently added a designated wedding planning department to Vineyard’s list of services. She says her magazine experience has helped her become in-touch with the wedding industry.

“I’ve been researching and writing about weddings for the past eight years,” she says. “During this time I’ve built great relationships with other wedding vendors. Opening up Vineyard Limousine was the next logical step.”

Tourism Market, Too

Martha’s Vineyard is obviously more than a popular location for weddings — it is also a major tourist destination. During peak tourist season the population swells from nearly 12,000 to more than 100,000. Vineyard Limousine owner Leslie Hurd seized the opportunity to reap the monetary benefits this seasonal business sewed.

“We create packages for just about anything someone may want to do — from island tours to golf packages,” says Hurd. “We even drive clients to the beach and set things up for them.”

One of Vineyard’s packages includes driving clients to a kayak rental company where they can tour the island via water.

Hurd recently purchased two buses to shuttle clients around the island and a giant smoker grill for clambakes, which is towed on a trailer behind the bus. “We can cook lobsters, clams, and any other type of seafood for clients to enjoy,” she says. “The clambakes are similar to a Hawaiian luau, but with a New England spin,” she adds. During the off-season, Hurd plans to use the buses to accommodate clients attending sporting events such as a Patriots football game or to a casino such as the Mohegan Sun in Connecticut.

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