Operations

Presidential Events Turn Limo Operators Into Mega Movers

Posted on August 17, 2012 by - Also by this author

Page 1 of 3

Ambassador Limousine’s Ken Lucci has put together a meticulous and thorough plan for a chauffeured fleet numbering 100 vehicles during the week of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla. The RNC will be held at the Tampa Convention Center in downtown, with nominee Mitt Romney’s Aug. 30 acceptance speech at the nearby Tampa Bay Times Forum.
Ambassador Limousine’s Ken Lucci has put together a meticulous and thorough plan for a chauffeured fleet numbering 100 vehicles during the week of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla. The RNC will be held at the Tampa Convention Center in downtown, with nominee Mitt Romney’s Aug. 30 acceptance speech at the nearby Tampa Bay Times Forum.

Operators in Charlotte, N.C., and Tampa, Fla., are seeing one of the few examples of bipartisanship this election year. Democrats and Republicans in about equal numbers are taking over those respective host cities and will be paying premium rates to get around to all the parties and hotels.

Charlotte hosts the Democratic National Convention Sept. 4-6, while Tampa hosts the Republican National Convention Aug. 27-30. Overall, about 35,000 to 40,000 delegates, attendees and media people converge during convention weeks. For chauffeured transportation operators, these massive pep rallies and campaign launch parties qualify as Super Bowls on steroids. The logistics, planning, troubleshooting, pricing, and fleet volume involved supersede the challenges of any business opportunity out there.

Once-in-a-career event
In the months leading up to political conventions, operators prepare for a once-in-a-career challenge that afterwards leaves them feeling ready to handle anything.

“This is Super Bowl times five,” says Ken Lucci, CEO of Ambassador Limousine in Clearwater, Fla. “It’s like an event with 40,000 brides. Everyone thinks they are important. You can’t say no to a guy going to a delegation party. There is no such thing as ‘You are not on the list.’ The next word is, ‘Do you know who I am?’”

Lucci’s company is running about 150 vehicles that week: 50 fleet and 100 affiliate and rented chauffeured vehicles of all types. One of his major clients is the corporate contingent from AT&T. “This is definitely a logistical challenge,” Lucci says. “You don’t know as much as far as routes yet and what will pop up. We are anticipating everything we possibly can.”

Several hundred miles to the north in Charlotte, Lucci’s affiliate, Rose Chauffeured Transportation, reported being just about fully booked by mid-June. Rose is running 100 fleet, affiliate and rented vehicles, including 15 of Ambassador’s SUVs that will handle VIP clients.

“It’s all hands on deck to manage this thing,” says Rose vice president Andy Thompson. “I foresee that we will have instances where dispatchers will be in charge of certain segments of the fleet and types of vehicles. You do as many dry runs of events as you can beforehand.”


Operator Jeff Canady of CLT Express in Charlotte, N.C., is working with his wife and co-owner, Laura, to prepare for all scenarios during the Democratic National Convention Sept. 4-6 being held at the Time Warner Arena. Those scenarios include having an on-call mechanic near the airport and an on-call I.T. staffer in case a server goes down or a storm hits. Operators working the national political conventions must expect the unexpected.
Operator Jeff Canady of CLT Express in Charlotte, N.C., is working with his wife and co-owner, Laura, to prepare for all scenarios during the Democratic National Convention Sept. 4-6 being held at the Time Warner Arena. Those scenarios include having an on-call mechanic near the airport and an on-call I.T. staffer in case a server goes down or a storm hits. Operators working the national political conventions must expect the unexpected.

Chauffeured roles
Laura and Jeff Canady, who own and operate CLT Express in Charlotte and SC Express in nearby Aiken, S.C., pointed out that the role of the limousine industry is more oriented toward serving corporate clients, non-delegates, celebrities, VIPs, and sports figures, adding that many private flights that week are arriving from Los Angeles. The DNC itself arranges most of the motorcoach transportation for delegates and party officials shuttling between convention centers and hotels.

By working previous NASCAR, NRA, and Masters Golf Tournament events, the Canadys know how to prepare their 40-vehicle fleet plus affiliate vehicles for the 100-per-day runs expected during the week of the convention.
“We’re making sure the office staff is clearly communicating and we are staying on top of things,” says Laura Canady, also a board director of the National Limousine Association. “Our staff will be here for 24 hours.”

View comments or post a comment on this story. (2 Comments)

More News

Uber Gets Silly, Creepy & Cheap

TNC Travesties Of The Week: Selfie check-ins and ghost drivers. . . and people still debate driver background checks?

Top Luxury Hotels Thrive Despite Global Travel Drop

Affluent consumers are cutting down on stays with a modest decrease in booked nights.

How Tech Platforms Are Changing Business Travel

A dizzying number of mobile icons now let executives manage their flights, hotels, rail tickets, security and expenses.

RedCoach Brings Affordable Luxury Travel To Florida

The company is the first express bus service to offer city center to city center travel, and provides travelers with first-class amenities.

How To Prepare Your Business Card For The Digital Age

LCT WebXclusive: Technology is making it easier than ever for operators to stand out — if they take the time to learn how to use it properly.

See More News

Facebook Comments ()

Comments (2)

Post a Comment

Submit

Blogs

See More

See More

See More

See More

LCT Store

LCT Magazine - September 2016 $12.95 COVER STORY: * How Do We Max Our Markets? * *



Connect

Experience the three annual industry events for networking for business, showcasing vehicles and products, and getting the tools for success.

Read About Your Region

What’s Happening Near You?
Click on any state to see the latest industry news and events in that region.

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Metro Magazine

Serving the bus and passenger rail industries for more than a century

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

Please sign in or register to .    Close