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Bay Area Party Van Rental Service | San Francisco Travel Blog

World’s Largest Custom Limousine Manufacturer Latest Victim of Economic Downturn

By San Francisco Limousine Specialist on January 7, 2013

We received some bad news recently that does not affect our San Francisco limousine service directly but affects most limousines services across the country directly or indirectly. Krystal Koach, Inc., the world’s largest manufacturer of custom limousines, will halt production and close down in the near future. In a press release, Krystal officers reported that their company “doesn’t have the cash to purchase parts to continue manufacturing vehicles.” Ed Grech, Krystal’s founder and CEO, cited the global economic downturn as the reason that his company was closing its doors and reorganizing.

The company had recently moved into the burgeoning Chinese market and had invested heavily in developing its custom stretch Lincoln MKT limousine specifically for that market and other clients in Asia. The company currently has around 51 vehicles in various stages of completion. Grech has told creditors that if they give him time to finish these projects and sell them, along with liquidating some real estate holdings, he would be able to pay them in full with funds leftover to pay other outstanding debts.

When he recently announced the closure and reorganization of his company, Grech told reporters, “Unfortunately, operators are still hurting and demand has been tepid. During the first quarter of 2012, these projects were halted due to the current economic climate both domestically as well as in Asia. We will not be idle during this time. Rest assured that Krystal is still committed to developing the most innovative and cutting-edge vehicles you can buy for luxury ground transportation, and the excellent customer service you expect from us will never waver.”

Grech founded Krystal in 1982 and grew the company from a small Southern California body shop into a company posting annual revenues of $50 million with clients all over the world.

While we don’t conduct any business with Mr. Grech, as we do all our own customization work, we were certainly sorry to hear this news. We hope that he is able to finish and sell his remaining vehicles in production and reorganize to square his debts with his creditors and begin the long process of rebuilding his company.

The economic downturn has affected us all, but NLS Limo is still here, and we plan to keep on serving the Bay Area with custom limousines, party vans and other luxury vehicles for a long time to come. We believe that a big part of our success is our customer service, attention to detail and offering a superb San Francisco limo experience at an affordable price. If you are looking for Bay Area limousine rentals for an upcoming special event, please give us a call today at 800-339-8936 to find out for yourself why our customer service helps us stand out from the hyper-competitive San Francisco limo rental market.

Centenarian Celebrates Birthday on Party Bus With 26 Friends

By San Francisco Limousine Specialist on December 13, 2012

Harriet Bump of Eldridge, Iowa, celebrated a very special milestone recently and did so in grand style. Twenty-six of her closest friends celebrated her 100th birthday by renting a party bus for a tour of holiday lights and a stop at a local ice cream parlor and confectionary. The resident of Grand Haven Retirement Village did not know about the special excursion or its destination until friends told her to dress extra warmly for her birthday party. When the appointed time arrived, she was escorted out to her waiting party bus for an hour-long tour of the Quad Cities, which straddles the Mississippi River in Iowa and Illinois.

When the tour was complete, she and her friends enjoyed ice cream treats at Lagomarcino’s, a local ice cream parlor and confectionary that has been owned and operated by the Lagomarcino family since 1908. When they arrived, the birthday girl and her guests were greeted by “Happy 100th Harriet” on the parlor’s marquee. Harriet wasted no time on deciding what type of ice cream treat she would enjoy on this momentous occasion.

“I know just what I want,” she said. “I want a strawberry sundae!”

“She didn’t say it, she exclaimed it,” says Tom Lagomarcino, one of the owners.

After ordering her sundae and settling into one of the parlor’s wooden booths, she sat with a wide smile on her face while the staff and her friends sang “Happy Birthday.”

Self-effacing and modest even on this extraordinary occasion, Harriet coyly mentioned that she wasn’t sure what all the hoopla was all about.

“Such a fuss,” she said. “I’m only 100.”

Birthdays are some of the most popular reasons why our guests rent our San Francisco party buses, which can comfortably and affordably accommodate groups of 26 family and friends and many more! If you know someone who is celebrating an important milestone and you would like to make it extra special, rent a Bay Area party bus from us, and let us take care of all the details! They are roomy, comfortable, loaded with luxury amenities and more affordable than you may think! For more information about rates, availability and the wide range of different party bus options available, call us today at NLS Limo at 800-339-8936. Cheers, Harriet!

Mercedes Announces Self-Driving Limousine

By San Francisco Limousine Specialist on December 12, 2012

The next version of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class limousine will offer a most unusual feature, according to a recent press release from the luxury automaker. The new S-Class limo will reportedly have a self-driving feature that will allow the chauffeur to put the vehicle on a kind of autopilot, using a network of 26 cameras, radars and sensors to maintain speed, direction, distance from other vehicles and other controls. However, Mercedes was quick to point out that the self-driving feature will not be able to operate the vehicle safely without being monitored by an actual driver. Like the autopilots used on aircraft, the driver will still have to observe and control the safe operation of the limo, but the self-driving feature will help to reduce driver fatigue and help avoid collisions.

Mercedes says that limousines equipped with Distronic Plus, the radar-based cruise control system, will not be available until late 2013, and prices will begin around $200,000. The system works by matching the speed and movements of a lead vehicle and maintaining a predetermined distance between the limo and the lead vehicle. While the system can take control of the steering, the driver will need to keep his hands on the wheel at all times. A torque sensor located in the steering column monitors pressure on the steering wheel, and, if it is unable to detect the pressure of at least one hand on the wheel, an array of buzzers and lights on the dashboard will alert the driver and disable the steering function of the system.

Mercedes claims that the Distronic Plus system will help “relieve motorists when driving is more of a burden than a pleasure – on the monotonous daily commute, for example, or in stop-and-go traffic”. Calling the system a “gradual introduction to autonomous driving,” Mercedes says that it is merely the first stage of a long developmental process to the driverless cars seen in science fiction movies and the next generation of accident-avoidance systems.

The system includes several important safety features, including vehicle and obstacle avoidance and a pedestrian detection system that Mercedes claims can completely prevent vehicle-pedestrian collisions at speeds up to 30 mph.

There may come a day when truly driverless cars are safe, reliable and a common sight on Bay Area roadways, but there will never be a day when we offer chauffeur-less San Francisco limousines to our guests. Without a nicely dressed, polite and professional chauffeur to greet our guests warmly, open their doors, answer their questions and transport them safely, a big part of the San Francisco limo experience would be missing. We are always on the lookout for new ways to enhance our guests’ limousine experiences, but we’re certain that automation is not the way to go. So, if you’re thinking about renting a San Francisco limo, party van or other luxury vehicle for a special event, just give us a call at NLS Limo at 800-339-8936. No extra charge for the chauffeur. We promise!

Better Business Bureau Warns That Party Bus Scams Are on the Rise

By San Francisco Limousine Specialist on September 12, 2012

According to a recent article from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), criminals are taking advantage of the surging popularity of party buses and defrauding customers across the country. In their article, the BBB cited a recent incident in Colorado where University of Colorado students thought they had reserved a party bus for transportation to and from a football game with archrival Colorado State. Their party bus never arrived to take them to the big game, and when they contacted the party bus rental service, the person who answered the phone told them that the bus had broken down. The person told them that they would not receive a refund for the party bus rental but if they caught a cab to the game and got a receipt, they would be reimbursed for the cab ride.

When the students told the man that they doubted the reimbursement offer and demanded a full refund for the party bus, the man refused, saying that he would not give them their money back because they had threatened him. Fortunately, the students had used a credit card to pay for the party bus and were able to cancel the charge after explaining the situation to the provider. Sadly, this is not an isolated incident. The BBB warns potential party bus renters that there were problems with other party bus services in Colorado and in other areas across the country. The broken down party bus is a common excuse used by the scammers, and BBB investigators say that many of these criminals use several different business names to prolong their activities.

If you want to rent a San Francisco party bus for an upcoming special event, here are a few tips to avoid falling victim to unethical party bus operators:

  • Check out the Bay Area party bus company’s rating with the Better Business Bureau.
  • Go to the California Public Utilities Commission’s website at to see if the operator is licensed in our state.
  • Perform a web search to see what others are saying about the operator.
  • Make sure the website of the company features the CPUC’s TCP number on each page, and check that against the listing on the CPUC site.
  • If something looks or sounds suspicious, contact the CPUC directly. The number for their San Francisco office is 415-703-2782.

Renting a San Francisco party van should be a fun, memorable and very comfortable experience. However, as you can see, not all party bus services have the same dedication to their guests as we do. If you rent one of our party buses, we will go above and beyond to ensure that you and your friends and family have a great time and make your special occasion truly memorable. Call us at NLS Limo today at 800-339-8936 to reserve an affordable San Francisco party bus for your event, and get ready to have a great time!

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