AWG Ambassador
Wednesday, October 04, 2023

With the CD/NLA show in Orlando coming up in just three weeks, now’s the time to book your stay at the all-under-one-roof Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center or lose out on our special rates. Our room block closes in just a few days, on October 9.  Register today to secure your accommodations at just $249/night—that’s including resort fees. Don’t miss out as rooms are selling quickly.

CD/NLA Show Education Co-Chair Jason Sharenow CD/NLA Show Education Co-Chair Karl Guenther

The educational component of the CD/NLA Show is developed by our Education Committee—co-chaired by Jason Sharenow of Broadway Elite and Karl Guenther of Statement Limousine—with operators of all sizes in mind. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a novice with just two cars, you’ll find programming relevant to your business.

CD/NLA Show Tamra Ferris of Comerica Bank CD/NLA Show Becky Laramee of All Points Limousine CD/NLA Show Michael Villani Jr.

On Monday, October 23, at 8:15 a.m., we’re thrilled to present an important session that deals with the economic side of the business: Mastering Financial Solutions: Loans, Leases & Banking Relationships. During the pandemic, many organizations got a firsthand look at the delicate balance between profitability and emergency funding through banking partners, especially during a crisis. Featuring expert speakers Tamra Ferris of Comerica Bank, Becky Laramee of All Points Limousine, and Michael Villani Jr., and moderated by Sharenow, this education session is your gateway to understanding EIDL loans, traditional vehicle loans, leases, and how to develop that banking relationship for SBA loans and lines of credit moving forward.

CD/NLA Show Alicia Hayes of American Classic Limousines CD/NLA Show Quentin Shackleford of All Class Limo

In recent years, CD and the NLA have seen an incredible influx of new, smaller operators attending our shows who are hungry to learn and grow. With that in mind, we’ve developed programming exclusively with those operators in mind. On Tuesday, October 24, at 8:30 a.m., you’ll want to join us for Navigating Challenges and Opportunities for Small Operators. Featuring panelists Alicia Hayes of American Classic Limousines and Quentin Shackleford of All Class Limo, once again moderated by Sharenow, this session will help you discover a wealth of insights and strategies tailored specifically for small operators to elevate your venture to new heights. Designed to equip you with the essential tools for success in today's competitive market, we’ll analyze topics from pricing strategies to affiliate partnerships and beyond. This session is your opportunity to network, learn, and apply practical techniques that can reshape your business trajectory.


“This is the DO-NOT-MISS session of this year’s CD/NLA Show. Learn exactly what the panelists WISH they had been taught when they started in the business. Pricing, financials, affiliate relationships, and technology are just a few of the topics being discussed by the panel whose experience ranges from new in the industry to second generation. Tremendous information and a priority session for new and smaller operators,” says Shackleford.


In addition to our informative and entertaining classroom-style sessions and roundtables, the CD/NLA Show also has a number of dedicated activities designed to expand your business network while you exchange tips and ideas. If that sounds intriguing to you, then you’ll definitely want to take part in our acclaimed Operator Mentoring Program. In this event, you will be paired with a group led by two mentors, a young and dynamic entrepreneur as well as a wise, established leader—both seasoned professionals—for a conversation like no other. You can ask questions, seek invaluable advice, and swap ideas and tips with your mentors as well as your group. Limited to just 200 operators, this event is an absolute must for those who envision long-term growth and the fortification of their operations for years to come. Pre-registration is required, so click here to choose your mentor pairing.

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Online transportation booking provider Blacklane is getting an infusion of cash from car rental giant SIXT to become one of its most important shareholders, according to an announcement from Blacklane. The companies are looking to gain greater traction in the North American market and continue to expand globally. Currently, SIXT has locations in more than 100 countries and is the fourth largest car rental agency in the US, while Germany-based Blacklane has grown significantly since its inception in 2011.

Blacklane Blacklane CEO Jens Wohltorf

Blacklane’s chauffeur services will be available via the SIXT app in the US and other international markets starting in 2024, while leveraging SIXT’s fleet capabilities and connected services. Blacklane is also building out its City to City program, which offers flat rates between certain cities with 127 routes currently available. Additionally, Blacklane is on track to provide 15 percent of its rides with electric vehicles by the end of this year, and 50% percent by 2025.

“We at SIXT are committed to providing premium mobility solutions in car rental, carsharing, subscription, and ride-hailing services. We welcome Blacklane on board as an additional valued partner in our mobility ecosystem and are looking forward to jointly create synergies for our business with this partnership,” said SIXT COO Nico Gabriel.

“We are thrilled to win SIXT as our partner and investor in this funding round,” said Blacklane CEO and Co-founder Jens Wohltorf. “Their extensive experience in the ground transportation and travel industry, combined with our expertise in premium chauffeur services, create a powerful bond that will drive both company’s global growth and innovation and solidify Blacklane’s position as industry leader.”

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First Class Destination Solutions

First Class Destination Solutions, a San Juan-based provider of premium travel services since 1996, recently announce its new partnership as the exclusive in-house ground transportation company, concierge, and tour desk for the El Conquistador Resort. The property is currently undergoing a complete renovation of their 900 rooms, water park, private Island Palomino new restaurant.

As the designated in-house ground transportation company, First Class Destination Solutions will provide a fleet of meticulously maintained vehicles, ensuring guests arrive in comfort and style to their destination, according to t a press release from the company.

"We are honored to join forces with El Conquistador Resort as their exclusive in-house travel partner," said First Class Destination Solutions CEO Robert Rodriguez. "Our mission aligns perfectly with the commitment of these exceptional resorts to offer a world-class experience for every guest. Whether it's a seamless airport transfer, personalized concierge service, or curated tours to explore the local treasures, our team is dedicated to exceeding expectations."

First Class Destination Solutions First Class Destination Solutions CEO Robert Rodriguez

Guests of El Conquistador Resort can now indulge in a full spectrum of premium travel services, seamlessly integrated into their stay. The dedicated concierge and tour desk provided by Salt Tours/First Class Destination Solutions will cater to individual preferences, offering expert guidance and tailor-made itineraries that showcase the beauty and culture of the surrounding region.

"We are delighted to welcome First Class Destination Solutions into our family of trusted partners," said El Conquistador Resort General Manager Jack Slim. "Their unwavering commitment to exceptional service aligns perfectly with our own dedication to providing unforgettable experiences. Together, we will elevate every aspect of our guests' stay, from arrival to departure."

Additionally, First Class will provide in-house ground transportation, concierge, and tours desk services at the renowned Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve, located in Rio Grande. This partnership with the Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve further solidifies its reputation as a leading destination management provider in Puerto Rico.

The addition of in-house concierge services means that guests have a dedicated team of experts at their disposal, ready to assist with every aspect of their stay. First Class Destination Solutions and Salt Tours concierge team will be able to offer guests assistance with everything from restaurant reservations to local recommendations and travel arrangements. The tours desk, also managed by First Class Destination Solutions and Salt Tours, offers a curated selection of exciting and immersive experiences.

"We are thrilled to bring our expertise in travel management to the Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve," said Rodriguez. "Our goal is to enhance the overall guest experience by providing top-notch services that make their stay in Puerto Rico truly memorable."

The collaborations of First Class Destination Solutions with both the El Conquistador Resort and the Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve represent a significant step forward in elevating the standards of hospitality and guest satisfaction in Puerto Rico. They mark the beginning of an exciting journey where luxury, convenience, and authentic experiences come together seamlessly.

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