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Thread: Starting a party bus shuttle

  1. #1
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    Default Starting a party bus shuttle

    Hello everyone, this is my first post here but over the last few months I've been doing my research on what kind of business could capitalize on New Orleans' hot tourism industry seeing as I've been living here a year and what I've thought would do well so far would be a party bus shuttle service. I'm not sure how much of you have been to city but Bourbon Street in the French Quarter is the hottest attraction and is located in the French Quarter. Now there are over 40 hotels in and around the French Quarter are which are an easy walk or short cab ride to Bourbon Street. You might be thinking now, where is the need? Where is the appeal then?

    People go to Bourbon Street for one reason, to have fun, get drunk and get wild. What I'd like to do is get a bus not longer than 31 feet (per law to drive on certain streets in the French Quarter) and have a shuttle/tour route where a party bus picks up hotel occupants at certain pick up points in strategic areas and after making pick ups and touring around for a small while end with letting them on to their destination with the party already started in their mode of transport. The city laws are not really specific on the rules on alcohol for this sort of bus but I do know I'd like to have shooters(mixed drink shots basically) inclusive with this ride, along with the basic set up of course, great music, good imagery, exciting lighting and so forth. I expect to be able to carry 25-30 at a time.

    What I'm having problems with now are putting down my expenses. I'm not sure on how to estimate everything I'd need because I'm not entirely sure on what a business of this sort will need so I would appreciate some input on this part especially. Maintenance, a garage and the required furnishings and so forth have me in a bind because I cannot foresee the circumstances without actually doing it but I'd like to be very prepared.

    Other than that what do you veterans think of what I have in mind so far. Are there any problems with the idea? Are special requirements required to include alcohol as a part of the trip? What price do you think will be suitable for this type of service?

    Any input will be appreciated so please do your worst because I'd like to be as prepared as possible before I seek funding. Thank you for your help.

  2. #2
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    Sorry to be a debbie downer, but that is the absolute worst crowd you can have. The only reasoning to allow that crowd on a party bus (hourly service for one group) is because one person puts down their credit card to cover any damages. Not to mention that it's lots of work to coordinate versus having one group pay $600-1200 for a 6 hour trip. I've seen many companies try what you're doing and none of them lasted.

  3. #3

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    Brandon is right. This sounds like a disaster. A shuttle service might work but I would never ever serve alcohol on the bus. Too much liability. I wouldn't even allow open containers on board.

  4. #4
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    The potential to be all bad out weighs the potential to be all good!

  5. #5

    Default I agree with Brandon

    Quote Originally Posted by brandon1 View Post
    Sorry to be a debbie downer, but that is the absolute worst crowd you can have. The only reasoning to allow that crowd on a party bus (hourly service for one group) is because one person puts down their credit card to cover any damages. Not to mention that it's lots of work to coordinate versus having one group pay $600-1200 for a 6 hour trip. I've seen many companies try what you're doing and none of them lasted.
    This has been tried many times, and I have yet to see it succeed. You will
    have a LOT of drunk people just looking for a ride home that doesn't care about rules or damages, and I can assure there will be a lot of both! For the few bucks that you will gross, trust me, not worth the headache! I would rather let my vehicles set in the garage than deal with that type of crowd!
    Dan Repass
    Celebrity & BOSS Limousine
    Lexington, KY
    859-255-LIMO
    www.255LIMO.COM

  6. #6
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    All the rest above me have great points. I know Brandon has several buses, and I think Dan may have some too (don't know about LGAL and NVTours), so take it from those guys that have been there done that. Stay away from that plan. You will have nothing but trouble
    Jerry Thomas

  7. #7
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    A company here in KC tried it, backed with support from the City, and they are no longer doing it. Supposedly it was due to failing to come to an agreement with an entertainment district, but knowing that they were trying to get a reality TV show started out of it indicates to me it wasn't profitable.
    Tim Wiegman, Jr.
    Boulevard Limousine
    Travel Confidently!
    Serving Kansas City, Lawrence, Topeka
    http://www.BoulevardLimoKC.com - Kansas City Limos
    KC Airport Car Service

  8. #8
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    Thank you for all the input. From how it looks there have been several failures in the past that have tried this model so I'll be rethinking the idea. What do you think were the key causes for these failures so I can somehow strategize on how to minimize them and rework the idea around it.

    The way I see it if there were so many failures, there's a lot to learn from and poise the business to be prepared for or avoid totally. This is why I came here because I would never start such a business without information from veterans in the industry. So please give me a little more on why these businesses fail and the common problems encountered.

    Thanks again.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Cedar Mill Limousine's Avatar
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    I think your potential problems are already listed above (damages and lack of actual revenue). I would suggest working for another company for a while to get a feel for the industry.
    Rich Rottier
    219.808.0976 | richrottier@gmail.com

  10. #10
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    The problem with that is I'm an international student so my best bet would be an internship so I'll shop around for that. I'm not that worried about revenue. If you've ever been to the French Quarter you'd see it's an incredibly small place so with the right marketing, creating strong bonds with the tourist board for the city (such as the city tours bus has) and great service I won't say there is no losing because that's definitely being overconfident and naive but I believe I can at least be in a place where my contingency plan would be able to minimize loses. I believe there can be success but I don't believe in waiting for a business to shut down, just as how there are milestones there are also reasons to pull the plug.

    How much revenue do you believe I would need to be pulling in?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShaunM View Post
    The problem with that is I'm an international student so my best bet would be an internship so I'll shop around for that. I'm not that worried about revenue. If you've ever been to the French Quarter you'd see it's an incredibly small place so with the right marketing, creating strong bonds with the tourist board for the city (such as the city tours bus has) and great service I won't say there is no losing because that's definitely being overconfident and naive but I believe I can at least be in a place where my contingency plan would be able to minimize loses. I believe there can be success but I don't believe in waiting for a business to shut down, just as how there are milestones there are also reasons to pull the plug.

    How much revenue do you believe I would need to be pulling in?
    It's not a matter of getting the customers, its a matter of even after you get the customers it's not even worth it with the $ youre pulling in. Insurance might cost you 10k+ a year. Thats $833 a month. At $5 per ride you need to have 150 clients a month just to pay off the insurance. Obviously there's tons more expenses but that just shows how bad of an idea it is.

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  13. #13
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    Woah, $5 a ride? That's insane honestly. I'm not worried about my revenue because there is no way I'd charge a couple bucks, that's ridiculous. I mean come on now I didn't get into the details of all the experience I plan to offer on the bus but let's just say I'm gonna justify a higher price than a bus pass.

    And yes I'm not worried about revenue, this comes from research and what I'm seeing is it's looking good, not too risky but still a risk as all businesses are. Keep in mind this isn't my first rodeo with a business, it is with a party bus.

  14. #14

    Default Get your feet wet!

    Quote Originally Posted by ShaunM View Post
    Woah, $5 a ride? That's insane honestly. I'm not worried about my revenue because there is no way I'd charge a couple bucks, that's ridiculous. I mean come on now I didn't get into the details of all the experience I plan to offer on the bus but let's just say I'm gonna justify a higher price than a bus pass.

    And yes I'm not worried about revenue, this comes from research and what I'm seeing is it's looking good, not too risky but still a risk as all businesses are. Keep in mind this isn't my first rodeo with a business, it is with a party bus.
    Sounds like you already have it figured out. I say go for it. Jump in, the waters fine. Worse that can happen is you might get a little wet! Best case, you might get lucky and succeed at something most have not! Good luck!!
    Dan Repass
    Celebrity & BOSS Limousine
    Lexington, KY
    859-255-LIMO
    www.255LIMO.COM

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Celebritylimoky View Post
    Sounds like you already have it figured out. I say go for it. Jump in, the waters fine. Worse that can happen is you might get a little wet! Best case, you might get lucky and succeed at something most have not! Good luck!!
    Thank you for your blessing! I wouldn't say I have it figured out but I'm trying to have as much information as possible before I jump in; can't jump in the pool before you know how deep it is you know. I'm just trying to be more than an idea and some capital; it's not who thinks of it first it's who does it right and I'm trying to learn from the mistakes of others and the successes of the veterans here.

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