People

Alaskan Limo Adventure To The American Dream

Posted on August 4, 2011 by

Charlie and Athena Grimm introduced SUV and Hummer stretch luxury limousines to the Alaskan market, which embraced the practical, durable vehicles.
Charlie and Athena Grimm introduced SUV and Hummer stretch luxury limousines to the Alaskan market, which embraced the practical, durable vehicles.

In 2000, Alaskan Charlie Grimm found himself in Las Vegas alongside buddy and business partner Brent Sanders, walking into their first industry convention: the 2000 LCT Show.

“We got the idea to enter the industry because [Brent and I] used to rent limos whenever we went out, because we wanted to be responsible and not drink and drive,” Grimm says. “Some of the cars we rode in were dirty or showed up late, and as a joke I told Brent we should start our own company, and he said that if I felt strongly about it and believed we could make it happen, then we should look into it and see what we could do.” Months of research followed, and the duo decided to take a retail approach that catered to nights-on-the-town and weddings.

Viva Las Vegas
With their plans finalized, Grimm and Brent made the right connections at the LCT Show. “We talked to [a local limousine dealer] and found out he had about 25-30 limousines for sale, so we went to the bank, got a loan, and bought two 6-passenger Town Car stretches and a bus to bring back [to Alaska],” Grimm recalls. It was also in Vegas that Grimm noticed “LVL” emblems on the outside of Las Vegas Limousine’s vehicles, an idea that returned home with him.

After brainstorming ideas for a company name, they settled on BAC Limousine. “BAC” stood for “Brent and Charlie.” “It’s pronounced ‘Bach’, but we wanted three letters so we could put our logos and emblems outside our vehicles like Las Vegas Limousine’s,” Grimm says. “Other companies in Alaska didn’t have their names or logos on the sides of their vehicles and we wanted to make sure we did.”

First in the Last Frontier
After four months in, Grimm realized that a six-passenger was too small for some groups while a bus was too big, so he picked up a 1998 Tiffany 10-passenger Town Car, which allowed him to pursue more work with hotels and bars. “All of a sudden,” Grimm says, “SUV limos got really popular, and nobody in the state had one at the time, and I wanted to be the first.” He bought a 180-inch, 16-passenger Lincoln Navigator stretch in 2002. He appeared on the front page of the local newspaper as the first operator in Alaska to run a stretch SUV.

When the Hummer H2 limo came out, Grimm heard that a competitor planned on being the first to bring one to Alaska. So he quickly made a deal with a Detroit coachbuilder for a 200-inch H2 stretch. He and his wife, Athena, picked it up from Detroit and drove it nonstop back to Anchorage, calling in to radio programs to give live updates. “We stole the competition’s thunder, for the most part,” Grimm says. “BAC became the first to bring the H2 stretch to Alaska. It got a huge two-page article that compared riding in it to being in the finest New York nightclub, and the phone rang off the hook after that.”

New beginnings

After changing the name to BAC Transportation and buying out his partner’s share of the company in 2005, Grimm expanded his fleet to include non-stretched SUVs, a limo bus, motorcoaches, Sprinter vans, and a fully equipped fire truck for a total of 21 vehicles. The fire truck is a hit for children’s birthday parties. 

Best and brightest in the industry
Operators should partner with anybody and everybody and attend industry events because “contracts are out there but you need to be the one to go out and get them; don’t expect them to come to you,” Grimm says. “Going to shows is a huge deal because of the face-to-face time you get with the best and brightest in the industry.”

 

 


 

The fire engine is a hit for children’s birthday parties.
The fire engine is a hit for children’s birthday parties.
The Facts about BAC Transportation LLC.

Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Founded: 2000
Owners: Charles and Athena Grimm
Main service regions: South Central Alaska, Seward Peninsula, and Northern Alaska
Types of vehicles: Cadillac Escalade, GMC Yukon, Chevrolet Express Van, Freightliner Sprinter Van, Lincoln Town Car, stretch limousine, Lincoln Navigator limousine, Chevrolet Tahoe limousine, H2 Hummer limousine, limo bus, motorcoach, Spartan fire engine
Fleet size: 19 vehicles
Employees: 25
Annual revenues: $800,000 to $1.1 million
Website: www.baclimoandbus.com
Information: (907) 222-2600

View comments or post a comment on this story. (1 Comment)

More News

Reston Limousine Hires New Marketing Manager

Anna Wilkinson will spearhead several new projects to grow the Washington, D.C.-area company's outreach and public profile.

BusCon 2017 Has Plenty To Offer Limo And Bus Operators

If you're running a chauffeured transportation or motorcoach service, then you'll find more helpful resources at this year's expo.

Nominate Now (Yourself?) For People's Choice Awards

The awards at LCT East is your chance to be recognized by the industry for being an innovator, entrepreneur, or humanitarian.

Operators Air Out A List Of Leading Concerns

The Greater California Livery Association deployed a new format that got members talking about challenges and problems.

Lindsey Limousine Wins “Best Limousine Company”

The growing Hartford, Conn. operation scores No. 1 on two noteworthy local business lists.

See More News

Facebook Comments ()

Comments (1)

Post a Comment

Submit

Blog

See More

LCT Store

LCT Magazine - August 2017 $12.95 MILLENNIALS/FAST 40 ISSUE COVER STORY: * How to Score & Keep The Best Young Talent * *



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