There’s service, and then there’s luxury. As its name suggests, Diamond Limousine, Sedan and SUV Service aims to offer both.
Diamond is one of a handful of businesses offering posh rides around the Treasure Valley area and beyond. Its fleet includes a 10-passenger Chrysler 300 limo, a 15-passenger Cadillac Escalade Super Stretch, a 24-passenger party bus, two 2012 Chrysler 300s and a 2012 Chevrolet Suburban.
Owner J.R. Garza started the company in 2004 and now has 10 employees. Diamond’s service area includes southern Idaho, eastern Oregon and northern Nevada.
Garza says the business is profitable, but he doesn’t disclose revenues. He did talk to Business Insider about making it in the luxury transportation industry, where professionalism sometimes means ignoring what happens behind the glass.
Q: What is the back story behind the company? Why did you get involved?
A: My father passed away, and the funeral home we hired for the service had a limo package for the family. When the limos arrived, they were royal blue in color, old and rusted out. As I sat in the limo on the way to the cemetery, I knew I could provide a better limo for this type of service.
I scheduled an appointment with the owner of the funeral home and pitched the idea of me providing newer limos to use. The meeting went well, we signed a contract and Diamond Limousine was born.
Q: Who are your customers, and what are your most commonly used services?
A: People of all ages and backgrounds. Corporate airport travel, adult birthday parties, kids’ scavenger-hunt birthday parties, weddings, anniversaries, bachelor/bachelorette parties, nights on the town, milestone birthdays and retirement parties.
Q: How busy are you in a normal week?
A: On normal weekends we are sold out. We’re about 30 percent less busy during the week.
Q: What are the most common destinations in the Treasure Valley?
A: Downtown Boise, Grove Hotel, Hotel 43, Taco Bell Arena, Idaho Center, wine tours, area churches, Wahooz Family Fun Zone, Big Al’s, movie theaters, Barbacoa, Boise Depot, Kathryn Albertson Park, ice cream shops and (other) area restaurants.
Q: How much of your business is from truly wealthy customers compared to business from more everyday-type folks celebrating a special event?
A: 25 percent.
Q: Other than being a good driver, what other qualities do you look for in a driver?
A: The first is punctuality, then knowledge of the area, being accommodating, showing discretion, friendliness, professionalism, a good smile, patience and sensitivity to a passenger’s needs.
Does the client want to engage in a conversation or to be left alone? That’s important.
Q: Do you have any amusing stories that are fit to print?
A: We arrived at a church to pick up the bride and groom. When the doors opened, the groom was dragging the bride to the limo. She (seemed to be) embarrassed to be around him. After the ceremony, the groom slipped into the bathroom and changed into his superhero costume: a blue Speedo and cape.
Another time, I knocked at the door to pick up the bride, when she answered the door in her pajamas and asked me to relay a message to the groom. The message was: “Tell the groom I’m not going to marry him.”
Q: Is it safe to assume you have a few amusing stories that aren’t fit to print?
A: Oh, yeah.
Zach Kyle: 377-6464