Regulations

Operators Find Power In Small Numbers

Martin Romjue
Posted on December 7, 2012
(L to R) KLA members in from September meeting at Skaggs Limousine in Elizabethtown: David Bryant (Ambassador Limousine, Louisville), BJ Burton (Limos by Knight, Owensboro), Val Newton (Regal Limousine, Benton), Pat Burton (Limos by Knight), Tom Burton (Limos by Knight), Carey Fieldhouse, President (R & R Limousine, Louisville), David Dunaway (Skaggs Limousine), NeVelle Skaggs, Vice President (Skaggs Limousine), Kent Sparks, Secretary (Lake Cumberland Limousine, Jamestown), Todd Roberts (JACO Limousine, London), Justin Newton (Regal Limousine).

(L to R) KLA members in from September meeting at Skaggs Limousine in Elizabethtown: David Bryant (Ambassador Limousine, Louisville), BJ Burton (Limos by Knight, Owensboro), Val Newton (Regal Limousine, Benton), Pat Burton (Limos by Knight), Tom Burton (Limos by Knight), Carey Fieldhouse, President (R & R Limousine, Louisville), David Dunaway (Skaggs Limousine), NeVelle Skaggs, Vice President (Skaggs Limousine), Kent Sparks, Secretary (Lake Cumberland Limousine, Jamestown), Todd Roberts (JACO Limousine, London), Justin Newton (Regal Limousine).

(L to R) KLA members in from September meeting at Skaggs Limousine in Elizabethtown: David Bryant (Ambassador Limousine, Louisville), BJ Burton (Limos by Knight, Owensboro), Val Newton (Regal Limousine, Benton), Pat Burton (Limos by Knight), Tom Burton (Limos by Knight), Carey Fieldhouse, President (R & R Limousine, Louisville), David Dunaway (Skaggs Limousine), NeVelle Skaggs, Vice President (Skaggs Limousine), Kent Sparks, Secretary (Lake Cumberland Limousine, Jamestown), Todd Roberts (JACO Limousine, London), Justin Newton (Regal Limousine).
(L to R) KLA members in from September meeting at Skaggs Limousine in Elizabethtown: David Bryant (Ambassador Limousine, Louisville), BJ Burton (Limos by Knight, Owensboro), Val Newton (Regal Limousine, Benton), Pat Burton (Limos by Knight), Tom Burton (Limos by Knight), Carey Fieldhouse, President (R & R Limousine, Louisville), David Dunaway (Skaggs Limousine), NeVelle Skaggs, Vice President (Skaggs Limousine), Kent Sparks, Secretary (Lake Cumberland Limousine, Jamestown), Todd Roberts (JACO Limousine, London), Justin Newton (Regal Limousine).

LOUISVILLE, KY — With only 14 full-time members, the Kentucky Limousine Association pursues an agenda and level of service to maximum effect.

From a media-savvy strategy, to publishing a position paper, to working with regulatory agencies and state legislators, the KLA makes sure it stays practical and focused on the business interests of its small- to medium-size limousine operations. Except for Louisville, operators serve clients mostly in small towns and cities.
Wider word

Among key accomplishments, the KLA recently finished production on its first-ever video PSA that will air on several local TV stations in the state and an audio PSA already airing on some radio stations. The KLA also is getting the PSA aired on the TV networks of high schools around the state. The PSAs explain the value of doing business with legal, reputable, quality operators in a state besieged with illegal gypsies, explains KLA President Carey Fieldhouse.

“Our focus is to try and elevate the image of the limousine operator and make sure we are well represented in the media,” Fieldhouse says. “Gypsy operators make us look bad. The public mistakenly believes that’s what the limo business is like. We want the limousine business in Kentucky to make us look good.”

The KLA can deter illegal limo business by educating the public on its safety dangers, Fieldhouse says. “I’ve taken calls myself from people who say, ‘Our chauffeur just showed up and he’s drunk. Can you send a car?’”

Gypsy crackdown
Hand-in-hand with a media message, the KLA works with law enforcement agencies and regulators to make sure gypsy operators are pursued and shut down. “You have to attack the gypsy operators from the ground up and the top down,” Fieldhouse says.

Last March, KLA leaders gathered federal, state and local agencies that regulate ground transportation in one meeting so that representatives could get on the same page about regulations while better understanding the nature of the limousine industry, Fieldhouse says.

As part of that effort, the association finished a letter in July that includes KRS (Kentucky Regulatory Statues) 281.615 stating that it is illegal to knowingly use an unlicensed limousine service. Members can show that letter to parties or entities that use gypsy services. “We can take the form letter to general managers showing that the service they use does not have operating authority,” Fieldhouse says. “It gives us ammunition to deal with complacent hoteliers and businesses.”

Justin Newton of Regal Limousine mans the first ever KLA exhibit booth at the Kentucky State Fair. The KLA did drawings for $50 off limo service and a grand prize of four free hours of limo service. The fair drew 599,000 attendees.
Justin Newton of Regal Limousine mans the first ever KLA exhibit booth at the Kentucky State Fair. The KLA did drawings for $50 off limo service and a grand prize of four free hours of limo service. The fair drew 599,000 attendees.

Done that/to-do list

Among other accomplishments and challenges:

  • KLA members hosted a booth at the Kentucky State Fair Aug. 16-26 in Louisville that reached out to prospective customers with prize giveaways. The group collected 600 names, addresses and e-mails from people over 10 days that could be followed up with via e-mails and e-blasts. Such one-on-one contact is a great marketing tool, Fieldhouse says.
  • KLA members meet annually each spring with Kentucky Derby officials at Churchill Downs to review traffic patterns and information for one of the state’s biggest events and sources of transportation business. The meeting is exclusive to association members who get special consideration.
  • The KLA offers a position paper that serves as a Constitution explaining its beliefs, goals and how it makes its decisions.
  • The group still must work at getting law enforcement to put a priority on enforcement against illegal limousines, as other enforcement issues get more attention and focus from agencies. It wants authorities to also pull over limousines with expired or old tags as they do vehicles that lack proper license plates.
  • The KLA helped kill (state) House Bill 127 which would have levied a 6% sales tax on limousine service. The threat always remains and the group has written a position paper on the issue listing five bullet points for legislators.

About KLA

  • Name: Kentucky Limousine Association
  • Location: Louisville, Ky.
  • Founded: 2006
  • Operator members: 14
  • Vendor members: 3
  • Officers: Carey Fieldhouse, President, R&R Limousines, Louisville; NeVelle Skaggs, Vice President, Skaggs Limousine, Elizabethtown; Jenny Summitt, Treasurer, Xtreme Transportation, Sellersburg, Ind.; Kent Sparks, Secretary, Lake Cumberland Limousine, Jamestown.
  • No. limo operators in state: about 30
  • No. limo vehicles in state: about 100-130
  • Regulating agency: Kentucky Transportation Cabinet
  • Annual dues: $100 per operator
  • Meetings: 10 per year
  • Website: www.kylimo.org

Related Topics: Carey Fieldhouse, Kentucky Limousine Association, Kentucky operators, limo associations, state regulations

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