LUBBOCK, TX — With proms, graduations, and many weddings canceled due to COVID-19, Lubbock’s limo business has taken a major hit.
“I don’t think the transportation industry will ever be the same or it’ll be a long time before it will,” said former owner of Black Diamond Limousine, Derek Dunn.
After schools closed, and major events like prom and graduation were cancelled, Black Diamond Limosuine’s business disappeared almost overnight.
“COVID-19 was the unthinkable for us. We had never had a bad year in the limousine business ever,” said Dunn. “We never dreamed that we would be knocked to zero over night and that’s exactly what happened.”
That’s when they were forced to close their doors.
“When it was time to throw in the towel I just said ‘You know what? We can’t do this anymore. There is just no way. I can’t keep losing money’ and we were losing a lot of money trying to keep the door open,” said Dunn.
But even for limousine businesses that are still open, there has declined since the start of COVID-19.
“We are pretty steady for the most part, but it’s not booming like it always was,” said Office Manager at White Knights Limousine, Tabitha Martinez.
White Knights has adapted new protocols to help passengers feel safe. They are limiting the number of passengers allowed in their limos and the limos are undergoing regular cleaning.
“We are just trying to keep everything a float and taking the reservations in as we can, but we are confident in knowing that it’ll be fine and things will get to where they were,” said Martinez.
For Dunn he’s thankful he got out when he did.
“Looking back it was the best decision ever, but to be forced out of something you’ve had for 6 years and that didn’t feel good at the time,” said Dunn. “I just don’t think it’s worth waiting out, It’s going to be years before the transportation industry is back at what it was.”
But at White Knights they are willing to wait as long as it takes for business to come back.
“We are confident in things booming again and when all this calms down we will have many reservations come back up and we will be able to provide those services,” said Martinez.
While White Knights is confident they will be able to stay open, Black Diamonds has auctioned off all 12 of its vehicles.