When Jimmy Seaton moved to Longboat after college, he noticed that his grandparents’ driving skills were beginning to decline - but he wasn’t about to tell them that. Instead, he began offering to drive them to their doctor’s appointments, the grocery store or anywhere else they needed to go.
Before he knew it, Seaton was his grandmother’s personal chauffeur. He realized that not everyone in the area was lucky enough to have a grandson who lived two miles away, and the concept of Longboat Limousine was born.
“Just because you can’t drive anymore, your life doesn’t have to be over,” says Seaton.
Seaton started Longboat Limousine with his father, Jim, in 1994. They started off with one sedan and one limo, targeting a market that was looking for something in between a regular taxi and an ostentatious stretch hummer.
Longboat Limousine’s fleet now consists of nine vehicles, including two custom-made Cadillacs that the Seatons designed themselves.
“Most limousine are made for parties or kids going to prom, and they’re not easy to get in and out of,” says Seaton. “We designed ours with an extra door in the back, oversized doors that are easy to get in and out of and triple the air conditioning capacity of a regular limousine.”
Longboat Limousine took to the seas in 2000 when they added two boats to their fleet. Customers can rent the boats on an hourly basis with everything including the driver, refreshments and gas included.
“They don’t have to worry about a thing,” says Seaton of the boating excursions. “They can just relax and enjoy themselves, and that’s what I think we’re going to see more of in the future. Folks are cutting back on material things and focusing more on experiences and having fun.”
Address: 5145 Gulf of Mexico Dr., Longboat Key
Owners: Jim and Jimmy Seaton
Date established: 1994
What makes them unique: "Our customer's can trust us because we're a part of the community. We're not just some guy out of the yellow pages, we're their neighbors," says Seaton.
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