By Valerie Smith • The Bulletin

Who: Destination Transportation, LLC

What it does: Provides limousine and luxury car services throughout Central Oregon.

Pictured: Todd Spence, owner

Where: 19449 Golden Medal Loop

Employees: Five

Phone: 541-550-8055

Online: www.destinationtransportation.com

First-time drivers can feel anxious and tense when getting behind the wheel, which is exactly how Todd Spence, owner of Bend-based Destination Transportation LLC, felt when driving his first client seven years ago.

“It was an older woman. I drove her around from 6 a.m. to midnight,” Spence said. ”She had me take her to friends’ houses, to a restaurant. We drove all around town. It was one of my first jobs, and had me thinking, ‘Is this what this job is going to entail?’”

Destination Transportation provides luxury car and chauffeur services to Bend and Central Oregon. The business specializes in corporate services and wedding transportation.

Spence, who worked in Washington state for juvenile corrections as an administrator, quit his job and moved to Bend in 2005 with his wife, Autumn Spence, who is vice president of business development for Hospice Pharmacy Solutions based in Dallas, Texas.

The couple could have chosen anywhere in the U.S. with an accessible airport for Autumn’s business travel, but they loved Bend and decided it was the right fit for their family.

“We switched roles. I became a stay-at-home dad and she works full-time because she’s making more money,” Spence said. “I tried to think of a good job where I could stay at home with our three boys. And seeing that it’s a successful resort-type town, it made me think of transportation.”

Spence started with a single Hummer SUV and a website. He began taking people to the airport, and soon started receiving calls asking about limousine service. He added to his fleet, bringing the total to five vehicles, which includes a 120-inch Lincoln stretch limousine and 14-passenger Ford Van.

“When I first got my limousine and did my first bachelorette party, I walked up to the door in my black-and-white suit,” said spence. “I opened the door and the bride-to-be thought I was an exotic dancer, so the ladies were screaming and laughing until I told them I was their driver.”

Since opening its car doors, Destination Transportation has increased its income by $10,000 yearly, according to Spence. Its clientele has grown substantially, and continues to thrive.

Destination’s new custom brew tours were added to the list of services this year. Clients can choose what vehicle, what route and what breweries they visit. Breweries frequented on Destination Transportation tours include 10 Barrel Brewing Co., Crux Fermentation Project and Deschutes Brewery.

General pricing for a ride from Bend to the Redmond Airport starts at $40, with limo services charged at an hourly rate of $85 or more.

Local customers include The Oxford Hotel, Facebook groups traveling to and from the Prineville data center and Nike, which holds conventions at Brasada Ranch.

Suz Ceciliani, sales and catering coordinator at The Oxford Hotel in Bend, has worked with Spence and Destination Transportation for the past year and a half.

“They are always reliable and because our van can only accommodate eight passengers, we do use them on a semi-regular basis for groups,” Ceciliani said. “Destination Transportation is a great partnership, and we value the high quality of service they provide to our guests.”

— Reporter: 541-383-0325, vsmith@bendbulletin.com

Q: What sets your business apart from other transportation businesses?

A. Spence: I’d say the quality of our vehicles. We have nonsmoking, professional, nicely dressed drivers. For Bend, that is kind of a first.

Q: What events have been your favorite to play a part in?

A. Spence: When we’re dealing with weddings, it’s such a big day for us to play a part in for clients. We get thank-you letters saying how we really helped make their wedding day special. I think it’s the relationships that we build with clients that’s rewarding.

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