People

Get Ready For A Texas-Size Party With This Operator

Lexi Tucker
Posted on April 24, 2019
Rich Perea, partner at Cheers! Tours and Events

Rich Perea, partner at Cheers! Tours and Events

LUBBOCK, Texas — The phrase “know your audience” applies to many different lines of work. Rich Perea, partner at Cheers! Tours and Events, aims to please his own demographic and succeeds because, being the same age, he knows what they’re looking for when renting a party bus. However, he and his partners, Rod and Donna Palmer, also cater to anyone and everyone looking to have a great time out on the town.

Discovering A Passion

In college, Perea studied personal financial planning because he knew he wanted to run his own business. While in university, he and former business partner Austin Black started the Rowdy Raider Night Shuttle to help pay their way through their college years. Aimed exclusively toward the younger demographic, they offered a safe ride home after a night out.

Perea soon discovered he had a knack for buses, and broke away to start Double T VIP Party Bus. A member of a fraternity, he marketed this service toward students in the Greek system, but soon started to get inquiries from others for events like birthday parties.

When Perea graduated, he started working for a winery while trying to figure out how to proceed with shuttle service. His friend told him about a new up-and-coming company that catered to tours and events in the city. He met Donna Palmer during a music festival at local pinball bar Flippers Tavern, struck up a friendship, and now helps her and her husband expand their reach to attract Millennial customers.

Give The People What They Want

The company runs two vehicles: A Ford E-350 shuttle with perimeter seating dubbed “The Fun Bus,” which has a vintage look that “vibes” with the older crowd, and a Van Tera shuttle built by Turtle Top they plan to convert with perimeter seating. Both carry up to 14 passengers.

Perea and the Palmers appeal to multiple demographics. He works the evenings for bar pickups and drop offs and birthday and bachelor/bachelorette parties, while the couple handles the daytime crowd. They are cultivating music festival runs by linking local artists and bus service.

To expand business and ensure they avoid troublesome clients, Perea has started the Double T VIP Social Club, a Facebook group for riders to join. This helps him evaluate his clients and avoid the ones who may cause more trouble than they are worth. He hopes to eventually turn this into a premium membership initiative, where clients can pay a flat fee and get access to an exclusive selection of fleet vehicles as well as VIP entrance to all popular bars in town.

Student And Teacher

At age 28, Perea has learned many lessons working with shuttles. For other young entrepreneurs, he’d suggest starting with a newer vehicle — four years old or less.

“Older vehicles break down more, and you’re constantly fixing problems when you should be focusing on making money,” he warns. “Also, don’t be discouraged about your age. Go in, find a mentor more knowledgeable than you, and then become a mentor to someone else. Life is about learning and teaching.”

Perea has helped business was attending tradeshows. BusCon (owned by LCT’s parent company, Bobit Business Media) and the International LCT Show have been an immense learning experience for him.

“I got plugged in, learned industry standards, and got to talk to people who are passionate about what I’m passionate about: Playing by the rules and pleasing clients. I enjoyed getting to bounce ideas off each other in a collaborative, peer-to-peer environment.”

Coming Soon

He’s thankful for the friends and family who support him emotionally and financially, and appreciates the need to share oneself with the local community. “Becoming a figure in your community is imperative; help others, and they’ll remember you.”

In the future, Perea would like to run a fleet of buses to big music festivals across the country that could also turn into living quarters. Anyone who has attended a show like Coachella, EDC, or Lollapalooza can attest to how helpful that’d be.

“I love the entertainment side of buses and connecting art and artists with people. We provide more than just transportation; we provide experiences — and that’s what people pay for.”

Perea is ready to connect with anyone passionate about retail and party buses. “I’m all about collaboration and elaboration.”

Related Topics: buses, customer service, LCTFast40, limo buses, Millennials, party buses, Texas operators

Lexi Tucker Senior Editor
Comments ( 1 )
  • Brentus Scott

     | about 5 months ago

    Great stuff. I especially love Rich's quote, “Becoming a figure in your community is imperative; help others, and they’ll remember you.” He is on that right track to making big things happen and bringing positive change in his community. Definitely an operator to keep your eye on.

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