La Costa Limousine Celebrates 30th Anniversary

News Reports
Posted on April 10, 2019
(L to R) Dale Theriot and Rick Brown

(L to R) Dale Theriot and Rick Brown

CARLSBAD, Calif. — The year was 1989. Pro-democracy movements were flourishing around the globe, a postage stamp cost 25 cents, “Look Away” by Chicago was the top song of the year, and La Costa Limousine opened its doors. After thirty years, La Costa founders Rick Brown and Dale Theriot recall the growth of the business with gratitude for the past and enthusiasm for the future.

The Early Years

Before opening La Costa Limousine, Rick owned a thriving mobile auto detailing business. He realized his client base would also be an ideal target market for limousine service. Rick discussed his plan with Dale, and they decided to go into business together. As Rick says, “This was the 80’s — running a limousine company was going to be fun!”

Starting with one vehicle, Rick and Dale did it all — driving, answering the phones, maintaining the limousine, and marketing the business. After nine months, they had two cars, and the next year they hired another chauffeur because they now had three vehicles. In his mind, Rick never expected to have more than five vehicles: That was the dream.

Growth and Change

Word got around about the excellent service La Costa provided, and the late 1990s saw a huge leap in La Costa’s operations. They went from four cars to 18 in a short time period. Rick explains how they were able to grow so quickly:

"It can be hard to operate as a 12 to 15 car business, but we were able to fly through those potential growing pains. We landed the Dav El account which brought us a lot of business. We had stretch limos running to Los Angeles and back all day long and on the weekend, seven days per week. Our per car revenue was incredible."

2005 saw La Costa winning the coveted Operator of the Year award. But every business faces challenges, and the financial crisis of 2007-2008 hit La Costa hard, as it did just about everyone in the industry. La Costa weathered the tough times and adapted to stay financially strong. Today the company has 60 vehicles and 130 employees serving all of San Diego County, Los Angeles, Southern California, and nearby states such as Arizona. Tami Saccoccio, Global Affiliate Director for Commonwealth Worldwide Chauffeured Transportation, praised La Costa:

"At Commonwealth, we’ve been working with La Costa Limousine for over 15 years. Their service is absolutely flawless, and their staff is a pleasure to work with. We consider La Costa to be an all-around top-notch partner."

Looking Back and Looking Forward

When Rick and Dale look back at what enabled La Costa to thrive when so many companies have failed, they know exactly what has set them apart. They offer top-of-the-line service and have never tried to be the cheapest, because people will pay for quality. No service provider can be perfect, but when something goes wrong, La Costa does whatever it takes to make it right. Rick says they never wanted to be the biggest game in town, but because of their good reputation, they are now the busiest.

Thirty years in the limousine industry in California has given Rick and Dale many memories and a lot of great stories. Rick recalls the client who lived at an exclusive resort and booked limo service every day to do her errands—including trips to Target so she didn’t overpay for socks at the resort. Another client booked a limousine to take him and his dog from San Diego to Toronto for a family reunion: All told, the round trip took two weeks for him and his dog.

Rick and Dale are grateful for the opportunities and success they have had, so they give back to the community and their employees. La Costa donates regularly to charities and fundraisers. Their special passion is the Make-A-Wish foundation, and they have been honored to provide more than 2,500 rides for deserving children. Rick and Dale are proud of the many employees who have worked for La Costa for a long time, including two office staff members who have been there for over 20 years.

As they look to the future, Rick and Dale have some exciting plans, but more than anything, they intend to keep providing the stellar service that has built their reputation. They are careful to make decisions that will play to their strengths, serve their clients well, and set them up for many more decades of success.

Source: La Costa Limousine press release

Related Topics: anniversaries, California operators, operator profiles, Rick Brown, San Diego operators

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Comments ( 2 )
  • Anthony

     | about 2 years ago

    For those of you around the country... La costa limousine service is a 100% corporate transportation services that has set the standards a long time ago. Everyone should run their business as they have and you will have success

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