Neil Goodman, founder and managing partner of Aventura Worldwide Transportation Services of Aventura, Fla. (LCT file photo)
MIAMI — After 10 years of running a separate motorcoach company, Aventura Worldwide Transportation Services has moved it in-house to consolidate operations.
A-1 Luxury Coach, based near the Miami International Airport, was closed on Aug. 27, and its fleet and operations moved to Aventura’s main facility in Aventura, Fla. near Fort Lauderdale.
As part of the structural shift, Aventura traded out A-1’s motorcoaches for 11 new 2014 and 2015 Van Hool CX-45 motorcoaches that seat up to 61 passengers each. The Van Hools, sold to Aventura by ABC Companies, cost about $450,000 each.
“We had always been two separate companies with a (A-1) garage by the Miami airport, but when we looked at the numbers, we decided to fold it into one company,” said Neil Goodman
, founder and managing partner of Aventura Worldwide. “We’re saving a lot of expense on rent and other costs by bringing it up to Aventura operating as one company. A-1 is a profitable company, so it helps the bottom line to do everything under one roof.”
The consolidation gives Aventura the added advantage of tapping its entire 80-plus vehicle company-owned fleet for motorcoach clients, especially those groups that may require motorcoaches and additional chauffeured vehicles such as vans and mini-buses.
Since A-1 Luxury Coach was launched in 2005 with eight motorcoaches, the company handled steadily increasing local demand for its services throughout Florida, and from domestic and international clients who want to arrange chartered bus trips starting in Miami and journeying through other parts of the U.S. Goodman estimates A-1 brought in about $2 million in motorcoach revenue, now formally part of Aventura’s finances. He estimates that motorcoach services will comprise about 15-20% of Aventura’s overall fleet-based revenues.
“Hopefully people around the country who have groups will see they don’t have to just call a motorcoach company, they can call us,” Goodman said. Whereas hourly motorcoach rates can reach $165 to $200 per hour in cities such as New York, Aventura can offer lower, more competitive rates in South Florida, Goodman said.
Aventura Worldwide serves as another example of how limousine operators in the last decade have discovered the profits and business opportunities in providing charter, tour and motorcoach services applying the high luxury standards of chauffeured transportation. At Aventura, for example, bus drivers are all called chauffeurs and work as W-2 full-time employees.
“The demand far outweighs the supply,” Goodman said. “We’re always busy and sold sometimes months in advance.” An added source of demand comes from limousine and bus companies in northern cities that need additional vehicles to handle summer tourism and travel clients. Visitor traffic to South Florida slows down during the summer months because of the intense tropical heat, freeing up fleet vehicles to be rented out or revenue-shared with other operations.
Aventura draws from a strong, diverse South Florida client base that includes shuttle contracts related to businesses, schools, universities, malls, DMCs, and professional sports teams, as well as recurrent runs between casino resorts and high-population condominium complexes. “Contractual obligations are best way to do business with motorcoaches,” Goodman advised.
Aventura’s motorcoach service economics underscore the higher profit margins that motorcoaches can generate in a chauffeured vehicle fleet. While motorcoaches cost more to maintain than limousine vehicles, and require more regulatory compliance, they last 10-12 years and bring in higher rates, Goodman said. Motorcoaches can be financed over 10 years, depreciate more slowly than chauffeured vehicles, and retain more trade-in equity value.