Booking on the day of? Really?

It’s rather amazing how little time people leave themselves before they book a limo. You know the type: They expect to simply call a company up a day before their special occasion, and expect a limo to be available. Oh, and they want it at their desired price. Unfortunately, it’s almost 2015. Costs to either lease or buy a limousine are much higher, maintenance on these mammoth vehicles much be completed much more routinely than ordinary vehicles because of the excessive mileage that is put on them every single day. Gas prices are fortunately on the decline (and hopefully staying there), but that does not mean that a 10 passenger stretch vehicle should rent for $40 bucks an hour. This isn’t 1980 anymore people…

When people call the day before to book a ride, they don’t realize a few things. First, availability will be scarce, as most responsible people will have booked their rental at least two weeks in advance. Second, the work that goes into a limo rental isn’t the same as a taxicab. Third, most limo chauffeurs are not full time chauffeurs, unless they live in a big city, and are guaranteed a full day of work, or at least the opportunity to make enough in tips so they can support their family. Therefore, if a reservation is attempted to be made the day before service is expected, a driver may just not be available. Get it? Call earlier than a day ahead of time. It’ll help your cause. The owner of one of the local limo companies told me that she has to turn down at least a hundred reservations per year because people simply call too late before they want a lift, and they can’t accommodate them for a number of reasons. This obviously isn’t just something I’m making up.

To whit, on the evening of December 29th, people were calling like crazy to try and reserve a limo for New Year’s Eve. Seriously people, that call should have been made about three weeks ago. It’s a wide known fact that taxi cabs are extremely scarce on New Year’s Eve, and you don’t want to be the one that is going to get behind the wheel. Or perhaps you get to the point where you try to walk home 4 miles in the blistering cold, with uncomfortable shoes on. Point. Made.

So, let’s stop trying to ignore the fact that you’re not a planner. Let’s figure things out a bit further in advance, and make sure that limousine is available on New Year’s Eve to take you back home for a cozy, if not sober night’s sleep.

Bachelor party, steak and limo style!

I was invited to a bachelor party this past weekend. This was no run of the mill bachelor party, as it was for my best friend. The dude that I grew up with, blaring out Bon Jovi at the top of our lungs way too many times to count. The dude that would accompany me to steal my parents liquor bottles, and sneak them downstairs while my folks thought we were innocently watching Karate Kid in the basement. The dude who bought me a round trip airplane ticket to Maui for a college graduation gift. The dude who consistently goes out of his way to make sure that my daughter has a cool present on her birthdays. Yeah, that dude. Did I mention that he’s 6’3″ and goes about 300 pounds?

Therefore I couldn’t skimp out on his bachelor party. If I did, he would remind me that he flew to Chicago for my stag weekend, and therefore I would forever be in the bachelor party dog-house.

He gave me two must haves… Great food. And a massive limousine to make sure that all of his 18 invitees would be properly taken care of for the evening.

Since most of us were located all over the great state of Colorado, we made it a point to meet in a couple locations, and that in those locations there was a hotel room so none of us would have to get behind the wheel after a long night sucking back on some Fireball.

There was no way I wasn’t going to be under-prepared for this night, so I set out to find the perfect restaurant, and the perfect limousine. The restaurant was easy. I knew that my large behemoth of a friend wanted the best steak whenever he had the opportunity, and since we were all chipping in and paying ourselves, I booked the best steak joint I could find, Sullivan’s in Lower Downtown Denver. If you haven’t tried this joint, do yourself a favor, and visit right meow. The service is first class, drinks are divine, and the cuts of meat are so fresh you would think the cow was right out back being quartered.

T-bone with seasoning

Back to the limo. I checked out a few companies to make sure that we had something big enough to fit all of us, and reasonable enough to lug us around for 8-9 hours while we were being chauffeured all over the Front Range. We found a 18 person Cadillac Escalade Stretch that did the job just fine. This beauty had wood floors, a booming sound system, and enough flat screens for all of us to watch a movie if we pleased. Mainly, the best part of it was it was so dang big that we could all talk to each other without having to worry about turning around and looking backwards. The amount of laughter that ensued over the 9 hours that our party lasted was obviously critical to the enjoyment of the evening.

After absolutely roasting my buddy to the gills, and revealing every last detail of every relationship that he has ever had, we made sure to spend way too much money on him to show him the true appreciation that he has shown us for so many years. Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of the night, as phones and cameras were not allowed (that was my rule..), so therefore use your imagination to capture the ridiculousness of the night. And I’ll leave out the details of the gentlemen’s club…

Limo rental fiasco

It’s funny. I called a limo company the other day looking to rent something that would take me and my 7 best friends down to Sports Authority Field (formerly known as Mile High Stadium) for the next Broncos game.

Classic White Jag

Now, I’ve been in a limo a couple of times within the last 2 years, but I haven’t rented one myself, well, never! Therefore as it was my first go-round, I called a couple companies to see what the heck the deal was, how much a limo was to rent, what types of limos were available, etc.

What I found out was that 1995 prices, when I was a senior in High School, had amazingly gone up from the normal 50 bucks an hour they were back then. Then I had to remember I’m 37 years old, am married with a kid, and I’m not 18 anymore. Nor do I have the limited surplus of cash I, and my friends, had when we were 18.

After banging the ear drums of a couple limo company owners in town (how do I know they were owners? Because I asked!), we settled on a beautiful 8 passenger Jaguar Limo to do the job. All in all, for a service of 8 hours, we’re looking at $800, including tip, so about a Hundred bucks a guy.  This is the company we went with below. Pretty stellar if you ask me.

www.fortcollinslimo.org

Now, you might say that a hundred bucks a person is a little over the top, but what if every single one of those guys had a few beers while at the game? Then how about every single one of your buddies drove home, and got picked off by the Po-Po and had to go to jail for a nasty DUI? You feel me now?

Therefore, money well spent. And besides, when was the last time, or when will be the next time you can say that you went to a sporting event in a pimped out Jaguar Stretch? Unless you’re a baller, probably never again. Point. Made.

Things you can go ahead and skip when you ride a limo to a sporting event:

Parking. Driving. Looking through the windshield at traffic. Cops. Normal Everyday Life.

You get the idea.

I’ll letcha know how the ride goes, and if there’s any holes in the limo at the end of the night. Someone’s gonna be firing some arrows, so hopefully it’s not into the upholstery after the game!

Archery like shooting at new or used cars?

I’ve often thought about archery when I’m off to buy a new or used car.

Arrow in bulls eye target blurred from speed

Why? Well, think about it. You’re at a car dealership, and there’s so much sleaze emanating from the salesperson that you can literally smell the slime. I haven’t bought a car since 2009, but I can imagine it’s still virtually the same.

Back to my original point. You might as well bring a bow and arrow with you to the dealership, because you’ll need a long and accurate shot to nail the car that you really want to purchase and leave with.  How many times do you shoot for something you see in an advertisement on Craig’s List, or in the newspaper in the classifieds, and, low and behold, when you get there, the scumbag has pulled the good old switcheroo on you? It’s happening to me, that’s why I’m complaining about it.

I don’t imagine for one second that running a new or used car dealership is by any means easy. But what is easy, for every day honest people like myself is that being honest is an easy thing! That seems to fly out the window when a purchase is in sights for that bad breathed used car salesman.

Now, there’s many different ways to buy a car these days. Sitting through a six hour auction to finally bid on the car of your dreams. Hiring a buyer’s agent (which I’ve found is a really really good decision!) is new and improved, with the access they have to the internet, and being able to find you the truck, suv, or sedan you desire.  These are very good tricks to learn. Why?

Think about it. Car dealerships have HUGE markups when it comes to the sticker price on their cars because of all of the real estate they have to pay, all of the employees they have on payroll, and all of the other ancillary items they have to pay for on a monthly basis. Auctions don’t have nearly the same kind of overhead, and Buyer’s agents simply have to contact auction houses, manafacturers, or find cars that are a certain price that you have specified. Pretty simple and sweet, am I right?!

Yes, I’m right, because I’ve seen the process in action. My father in law just purchased a sweet Ford Truck at auction for about 2 grand less than the Blue Book value, and I have a buddy who just bought a Honda Pilot from a buyer’s agent, saving him over $5K off the sticker price of what it would have been at the dealership. Not. Bad. Right. There.

So, if you’re looking to use less arrows, and put away your bow, those are two things that can creep into that big melon of yours to marinate on. I’ve made the mistake before, and done it the wrong way, and paid mightily for it.

There’s my rant for today, Apologies for going off topic a bit. But, hey, that’s why it’s a rant! Peace out grease out.