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The Job Interview: Limo service prepares for the busy season

  • Geoff Campbell of Grace Limo details one of the stretch limousines that will be dispatched out for prom season this year. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

    Geoff Campbell of Grace Limo details one of the stretch limousines that will be dispatched out for prom season this year.

    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

  • Geoff Campbell of Grace Limo details one of the stretch limousines that will be dispatched out for prom season this year. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

    Geoff Campbell of Grace Limo details one of the stretch limousines that will be dispatched out for prom season this year.

    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

  • Geoff Campbell of Grace Limo details one of the stretch limousines that will be dispatched out for prom season this year. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

    Geoff Campbell of Grace Limo details one of the stretch limousines that will be dispatched out for prom season this year.

    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

  • A detail of the lights on the roof of one of the limousines at Grace Limo. Geoff Campbell of Grace Limo details one of the stretch limousines that will be dispatched out for prom season this year. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

    A detail of the lights on the roof of one of the limousines at Grace Limo. Geoff Campbell of Grace Limo details one of the stretch limousines that will be dispatched out for prom season this year.

    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

  • Geoff Campbell of Grace Limo details one of the stretch limousines that will be dispatched out for prom season this year. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)
  • Geoff Campbell of Grace Limo details one of the stretch limousines that will be dispatched out for prom season this year. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)
  • Geoff Campbell of Grace Limo details one of the stretch limousines that will be dispatched out for prom season this year. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)
  • A detail of the lights on the roof of one of the limousines at Grace Limo. Geoff Campbell of Grace Limo details one of the stretch limousines that will be dispatched out for prom season this year. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

For some it’s the sweet ride that will get them to the best night of their lives, so far.

For others, it’s the carriage that is sweeping them off to the best part of the rest of their lives.

Whatever the reason, a limo ride is a treat to make a prom or wedding day that much more special.

For Grace Limousine in Manchester – with a fleet of 60 vehicles –
this is one of busiest times of year.

And while event coordinator Heather Campbell-MacKay couldn’t give a percentage, she said the family-owned business sees a significant increase in business as wedding and prom season rolls around.

Campbell-MacKay recently spoke with the Monitor to share some details.

What do you see this time of year?

We see a lot of students and parents calling to ask about prom package information.

They want to get students to
and from prom safely, since a lot
of them have just gotten their licenses.

Parents don’t necessarily want them driving around to and from.

How do drivers make sure kids behave?

Every reservation that comes in here for prom, the parent and student that make the reservation have to sign passenger guidelines. . . . (This includes) Passengers are only allowed out of the vehicle at the designated stops – and that’s one of the things that’s communicated ahead of time, is the need to know anywhere that they’re going that night. If it’s not on the itinerary provided by the parent, we don’t go there. So the students can’t just tell us where to go that night.

Obviously, there’s also no smoking or drinking. Any backpacks that they bring have to go in the trunk. You know, we don’t allow bottles in the vehicle. If they want to bring can soda they can.

Is that a frequent problem, and what do the drivers have to do in those instances?

It’s very rare. We do close to 100 proms per year. . . . Really in the last few years I think we’ve only had two situations where alcohol was found in the vehicle or students were trying to sneak alcohol on. And you know, we contacted the parents and that was the end of the night.

The parents have to come pick their kids up. We have a zero-tolerance policy for that.

Are chauffeurs ever in touch with nervous parents during the evening?

I have a great example. Last weekend we had a parent, I believe she worked on the fire department. She had heard about the limo incident out in California recently where the vehicle started on fire; the passengers were trapped in the vehicle.

Anyway, it wasn’t the parent who booked the reservation, it was one of the other parents. She called me and said your chauffeur is going to get a million questions by this parent. So I let the driver know.

And he showed her the emergency kit. And the chauffeur was actually a trained EMT, so he had brought his own first aid kit. And we keep a fire extinguisher on all of our vehicles. . . . He definitely put the parent’s mind at ease.

Are limo companies affected by the economy, or is prom season recession-proof?

It depends on the company. I think the economy and the recession weed out the companies that are not excelling. We’ve seen our company grow, where other companies have gone out of business. . . .

Honestly about 70 percent of our business is corporate
. . . so we stay busy all year long.

What’s the weirdest request you’ve gotten and were you able to accommodate it?

This one isn’t too far out, but we’re happy to try to accommodate anything. We did have a couple that was from another country, and one of their traditions is decorating the car with flowers, for the groom’s procession to the venue where they were getting married.

So I had the family actually come in with the big flower arrangements because they were going to attach all the flowers to the limo. . . . We found some points under the hood where they could attach the arrangements with ribbon. I was under the hood so I could kind of help them with that.

What are the different ways brides and grooms or prom dates can customize their limo service?

(For prom) basically we provide bottled water, crystal glassware, sparkling cider. If they want to request a red carpet, we can do red carpet service for them. . . .

Whatever people need, as long as we have the vehicle available, we can customize it to anything. Nothing is weird to us.

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