Operations

Transporter Goes All-In For All Types Of Service

Martin Romjue
Posted on November 21, 2015
A Lewis Stages Van Hool motorcoach in front of the State Capitol in Salt Lake City, Utah.
A Lewis Stages Van Hool motorcoach in front of the State Capitol in Salt Lake City, Utah.

A Lewis Stages Van Hool motorcoach in front of the State Capitol in Salt Lake City, Utah.

A Lewis Stages Van Hool motorcoach in front of the State Capitol in Salt Lake City, Utah.
A Lewis Stages Van Hool motorcoach in front of the State Capitol in Salt Lake City, Utah.
PARK CITY, Utah — Although Lewis Stages passed its 100th birthday last year, the charter and tour provider could pass for a progressive transportation start-up.

Lewis Stages is owned by All Resort Group, a Park City-based ground transportation holding company that since the turn of this century has acquired or launched several other services. It now provides all forms of wheels on the ground, with a 230-vehicle fleet that includes taxis, chauffeured sedans, SUVs and motorcoaches spread among Park City, Salt Lake City, Utah resort regions and Las Vegas, Nev.

All Resort and Lewis Stages prove how a company can be all things to all passengers, while adhering to high service standards and gaining market share.

FAST FACTS: Lewis Stages/All Resort Group

  • Location: Park City, Utah 
  • Founded: 1914 (Lewis Stages)
  • Primary areas served: Park City, Salt Lake City, Utah; Las Vegas
  • Owners: Richard and Wendy Bizzaro (two-thirds); Gordon Cummins (one-third).
  • Fleet vehicles: 80 coaches (Full size, mini-coaches, and Transit buses) / 150 automobiles (SUV, vans, sedans and limousines)
  • Revenues: N/A (privately held company)
  • Employees: 500-plus; about 400 drivers, 100 other
  • Key executives: Richard Bizzaro, CEO; Rick Redford, President; Larry Killingsworth, COO, CFO
  • Other facilities: Salt Lake City and Las Vegas
  • Bus service breakdown: 10% charter/tour groups; 40% universities/schools; 30% corporations; 20% government.
  • Overall company client ratio: 25% business/government/corporate; 75% retail/leisure, including tours and special events
  • Client sample: Tauk Tours, Montage Resort, Vail Resort
  • Websites: www.allresortgroup.comwww.lewisstages.com, www.allresort.com

In the motorcoach segment, Lewis Stages runs 43 buses, including Setras, Van Hools, MCIs, Prevost, and transit models. While the company plans to consolidate its motorcoach brands, the multiple makes and models appeal to a diverse client base.

For example, Lewis Stages runs daily shuttle services for workers at the open pit Kennecott Copper Mine in Copperton, Utah, owned by the Rio Tinto Corp. It operates day trips and charter excursions for the Church Of Jesus Christ Latter-Day Saints (Mormon), headquartered in Salt Lake City. At the other end of the client spectrum is actor Robert Redford’s annual Sundance Film Festival in Park City each winter, during which Lewis Stages and All Resort serve an upscale Hollywood glitterati that swoops in for high-power entertainment networking and movie screenings.

“The demand for Lewis Stages has continued to increase because of relationships with tour companies,” says Rick Redford, President of All Resort Group, Inc., who joined with the company in December 2014 from the nutritional products industry. “Our business has increased over time. Schools do trips over summer. The LDS Church does a lot of summer camps, and trips to and from different sites covering Mormon history. Our business with Kennecott has increased a lot.”

Further upping growth are tours to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and Utah national parks, as well as an active Asian tourism and corporate clientele, particularly Chinese businesspeople sampling the Utah region, Redford says. “This year, we’ve had some of our largest tour and travel months ever, with conventions and demand for shuttles among hotels and landmarks.”

All In The Resort Family
While Lewis Stages remains the oldest All Resort company with the largest vehicles, its companion companies under the All Resort umbrella show how its fleet vehicles can be mixed, matched and adapted to various tiers and service levels of ground transportation:

Xpress 4 Less Taxi: Developed in 2011, the taxis serve the Park City and Deer Valley, regions, and airport travelers. Lest you picture a Prius taxicab, this discounted service uses mostly SUVs.

All Resort Express: Started 40 years ago by All Resort founder Gordon Cummins, it offers shared rides between Park City and area ski resorts with shuttles, vans and limousines. Clients include skiers, conference-goers and national park visitors.

Rick Redford, the new President of All Resort Group, Inc., a major ground transportation holding company serving the western U.S.
Rick Redford, the new President of All Resort Group, Inc., a major ground transportation holding company serving the western U.S.
All Resort Limousine: A traditional limo service in Las Vegas that offers luxury sedans, stretch limousines and SUVs to a mostly corporate clientele.

Premier Transportation: A multi-leveled service in Salt Lake City and Park City that provides a meet-and-greets, taxi service, hourly chauffeured services, and corporate transportation, all in an exclusive fleet of luxury SUVs.

Park City Transportation: Serves the Utah ski resort and mountain regions with a fleet of Cadillac XTS sedans, AWD SUVs, Chevrolet passenger vans, mini-buses and motorcoaches.

SuperShuttle: All Resort runs the local affiliate (not franchise) of this leading global airport shuttle service, with a heavy demand from the Salt Lake City International Airport and area hotels.

Lewis Stages arranges motorcoach vacation tours throughout the western United States.
Lewis Stages arranges motorcoach vacation tours throughout the western United States.
Customer Service Points
Despite fleet diversity, All Resort Group is not immune to competition from Uber, which entered the market last winter with black model cars during the Sundance Film Festival. The TNC didn’t get that much of the business, and All Resort launched SuperShuttle in May to secure some of the shared-ride segment, Redford says. “Uber has reached us but how much it has affected the market is yet to be determined.”

All Resort is developing an app by the end of the year that will complement redesigned websites made more dynamic and less text heavy. The website and app will provide customers a more streamlined booking process for mobile devices. The tech upgrades complement many of the core service attributes of Lewis Stages and All Resort brands, as outlined by Redford:

  • Use of newer, top-quality motorcoaches with rigorous maintenance, three-point seatbelts and the latest amenities such as Wi-Fi.
  • Retain a core nucleus of experienced drivers with strong service skills and knowledge of tour destinations and regions.
  • Extensive safety and customer service training among drivers, dispatchers, and reservations.

Safety & Maintenance
Running motorcoaches involves a lot of compliance, paperwork and awareness of safety rules. “There are general intrastate and interstate regulations to always comply with,” Redford says. “It’s not rocket science, but you have to make sure you are in the wheelhouse of all of those different regulations.”

A key component of extended charter and tour service is the ability to follow driver labor regulations while providing a seamless multi-day tour experience. To that end, Lewis Stages provides boost drivers so primary drivers do not exceed 15 hours of work in a 24-hour period.

“With every trip, you balance things out on how many hours and the distance of the trip,” Redford says. “Sometimes you fly in a driver and put him up in a hotel. That all goes into the pricing out of trips.”
Lewis Stages also calculates and plans out its fleet lifecycles, factoring down payments and cost per month of new versus pre-owned buses while monitoring monthly maintenance costs.

“There are simple equations we put into play that require a balancing act,” Redford says. “Preventative maintenance will secure a longer lasting machine. We use software that enters coach work into the system kept in reports. We know how much we spend per day, per month, per year, per vehicle, and the number of breakdowns. All of that goes into our equations.”

The key question for such analysis is: When do monthly maintenance and repair average costs surpass a down payment and monthly payment schedule for a newer bus? “At some point it reaches a sweet spot, where you know it’s a better idea financially to trade in that coach becasue it will cost more to keep a bus in working order than to trade it in, pay it off and buy a new one.”

Deeper Fleet Bench
Despite a complete transportation line-up, All Resort will stay true to form looking for new markets and services, Redford says. “All Resort is a company that has always grown through acquisitions. That’s our temperament and personality, and we’re looking to expand the same way. We [also] want to expand within the markets we service.”

CENTENNIAL HISTORICAL SNAPSHOT

All Resort/Lewis Stages owners Richard Bizarro and Gordon Cummins celebrate the 100th anniversary of Lewis Stages in 2014.
All Resort/Lewis Stages owners Richard Bizarro and Gordon Cummins celebrate the 100th anniversary of Lewis Stages in 2014.
Lewis Stages originated in 1914 as Bingham Stage Lines. Its first passengers were miners bound between Salt Lake City and the famous Bingham Canyon Copper Mine. Soon after that, founder Orson Lewis convinced his brothers to join the company and form Lewis Stages. During World War II, the miners were joined by airmen from the Camp Kearns Army Air Corps Base in the Salt Lake Valley, as Lewis Stages operated a bus every six minutes to and from downtown Salt Lake City. After the war, Joe Lewis saw potential in the growing charter bus market. He developed the customer base and built a diverse high-quality fleet to serve the charter bus and ski markets in the Park City area until his son, Steven, took over. All Resort Group acquired Lewis Stages in 2006.
Source: Lewis Stages

Related Topics: All Resort Group, anniversaries, anniversary: operator profiles, buses, charter and tour operators, motorcoaches, operation growth, Utah operators

Martin Romjue Editor
Comments ( 0 )
More Stories
Article

How To Get Clients To See Value In Your Rates

NOV. LCT: We fear our own prices when comparing ourselves to TNCs, but we don’t compete with them any more than Marriott does with a Motel 6. Learn how to justify your rates without guilt.

News

2018's Luxury Travel Trends

Among the highlights for next year is a focus on far-flung destinations along with international trips of two weeks or more.