One of the couple’s latest projects was retrofitting a black and gray bullet-proof Brinks-like armored truck – with amenities that include a $25,000 audio, visual and lighting system, 52-inch Samsung plasma TV and tan ostrich-skin and navy blue seats – for the reality TV show “Bridezillas” that will air this fall.
“Since Sept. 11, security for transportation has risen to an all-time high and a niche we’re expanding into,” Eric Boeppler says.
The company’s forte is reaping benefits.
Boeppler says the firm has signed a deal worth nearly $2 million to build a fleet of 22 armored limousine trucks for a Dallas firm that plans to rent the vehicles.
Boeppler, 40, says the vehicles are being placed in cities including Las Vegas, Hollywood, Miami and New York. One can be rented for $150 to $450 per hour.
“We’re trying to start a franchise to provide the vehicles to professional teams, corporate executives and anyone who wants something different,” he says.
The Boepplers predict the armored vehicles will boost revenue by 20 percent by 2011.
A Savannah Nite has grown rapidly since the Boepplers launched it in 1998. It now has a fleet of more than 70 vehicles, up from just 12 in 2005.
The vehicles include Lincoln Town cars, Cadillacs, limousines, limo-style charter buses and antique cars .
Weddings account for about 40 percent of revenue. On average, a four-hour limo rental for a wedding costs about $550 for 10 passengers.
On her wedding day, Michelle Hill of West Chester said, A Savannah Nite was very professional, the driver was courteous and the limo was clean and well kept. She says the firm was easy to work with and followed up with calls to confirm numerous details before the wedding.
“They were phenomenal, and I’d recommend them to anyone,” Hill said.
The Boepplers are hopeful revenue this year will rise 15 percent as the economy improves. They would not disclose actual dollar revenue.
The couple complements each other. Eric is the mechanic and custom-builds the vehicles. Lynn runs the business.
“He is the kite, and I am the string,” she says.
A problem with a limo service for their own wedding 16 years ago largely prompted the couple to start the firm.
To set itself apart from rivals, the company this year converted all of its vehicles to hybrids to lower emissions and fuel use.
“We’re doing it to reduce pollution, protect future generations of society and cut operating costs,” Eric Boeppler says.
The Enquirer/Amie Dworecki Eric and Lynn Boeppler, owners of A Savannah Nite, show off a stretch armored limousine at their offices at 9331 Seward Road in Fairfield.A Savannah Nite Limousine ServiceOwners: Eric and Lynn Boeppler
Address: 9331 Seward Road, Fairfield
Staff: Four employees. The business hires up to 70 contractors including chauffeurs, mechanics, welders, upholstery professionals and others. Its chauffeurs have completed professional training. The business is fully insured to protect its drivers and passengers.