VIP Limousine presents: Meals on Wheels and Merry Christmas!

At VIP Limousine, we genuinely love our hometown of Salt Lake City, what with beautiful vistas and great opportunity. However, to love a place also means to love the portions of it that may not be as eye-catching or appealing. We know that SLC isn’t perfect, but we wanted to see if there was a way to make it somewhat better.

In the state where volunteerism ranks the highest in the nation, we ourselves have donated limousine service to certain organizations in need. These include nonprofits such as the Make-a-Wish Foundation of Utah and the Miss Utah Pageant, the state division of the Miss America organization. They are wonderful and do many great things around the state and the nation, and we gladly have provided our services to them. However, we wanted to think bigger and jump into the fray ourselves.

So we got in touch with Salt Lake County, our local government agency that goes beyond the control of Salt Lake City itself. Salt Lake County is the local administrative body for the metropolitan branch of Meals on Wheels.

For those who are unfamiliar, Meals on Wheels America is a nonprofit organization which, through the efforts of thousands of volunteers, delivers meals to the elderly all across the United States. Those who participate take an hour out of their day to deliver hot meals to a set number of individuals.

VIP Limousine may be a name which people may think is exclusive solely to the fanciest hotels and the most prime real estate developments. However, this couldn’t be more wrong. We serve all types of clientele, and we do so quite gladly.

As a result, our company makes deliveries in the neighborhood of Rose Park in the northwestern corner of Salt Lake City. It is one of the poorer areas in the county, a far cry from the beautiful Avenues, Sugar House, downtown, and the up-and-coming areas such as Liberty Wells.

We believe, however, that whatever neighborhood someone lives in, that they deserve love and respect worthy of a VIP, whether you’re a pedestrian, potential client, client, neighbor, friend, relative, or anything else. Hence, we want to apply the same treatment we give our clients to those who are less fortunate than us.

Our route begins near 700 North and Interstate 215, not too far from the Salt Lake City International Airport and the Davis County border. It winds through the northwest part of Rose Park between a series of homes and streets, ending up near the southeast corner of the airport. The recipients of Meals on Wheels are always excited to see us walking up to their doorway with a hot meal, cold drink, and a smile. We service stand-alone homes, apartment complexes, and specialty living facilities. We bring meals directly to recipients and make sure there’s nothing else they need, whether it be a refreshed oxygen tank, a gentle pat on the back, or a quick laugh.

This new experience for us has been so gratifying that while we are announcing it now, we have decided to make it a permanent fixture in the company with multiple chauffeurs taking turns making the deliveries. Our company is the business of making people’s days with something special, usually a limousine. But we know that we can go beyond that. Community volunteer work is important not only for those we serve, but also, admittedly, for ourselves to get out from behind the desks and steering wheels and the world of prom and corporate clients. It also helps our local agencies and organizations to serve more people more effectively, more efficiently, and with more joy.

If you have a service project for which you think our services would be appropriate, please feel free to contact us!

VIP Limousine Christmas Party 2017

Sometimes our team takes a little time to get treated. Photo credit: Jeff Arvizu
Sometimes our team takes a little time to get treated. Photo credit: Jeff Arvizu

At VIP Limousine, we function as an around-the-clock operation, doing whatever is needed at all hours to make sure our clients are driven better. However, sometimes in order to sustain these levels of intensity, our team needs a break, so each year we plan out a Christmastime party for all our chauffeurs.

This year, we invited the chauffeurs and their spouses to join together for a dinner in downtown Salt Lake City; specifically, we chose Tucanos, a Brazilian steakhouse with a location at The Gateway, one of the main shopping centers.

Normally, our chauffeurs strictly drive people from the front seat in our vehicles, but this time they were the passengers, as our media specialist and assistant manager, Philip Keeve, pulled up in the company’s black Hummer stretch limousine and helped them inside. With Christmas music playing along with various snapping noises from camera apps, the party hit the road for the quick trip to downtown SLC.

Our black Hummer H2 stretch limousine patiently awaits passengers. Photo credit: Tim Morris
Our black Hummer H2 stretch limousine patiently awaits passengers. Photo credit: Tim Morris

The day after our company party was Lady Gaga’s concert at the Vivint Smart Home Arena, so the streets near The Gateway and the Arena itself were clogged and closed with her entourage. Situations like this, though, fail to faze our chauffeurs, and Philip deftly avoided the issue. Before long, the limo was at Tucanos and Philip unloaded the passengers.

Tucanos is a lively, bustling place, with a lot of celebrations and a party-like atmosphere reflective of Brazilian traditions. We were fortunate to have a table reserved for our group which managed to seat everybody, and then the magic began.

Waiters began circling the table with the exquisite cuts of meat, delicious seafood, and beautiful grilled pineapple. As Philip returned from parking the Hummer in a safe lot and braved the cold walking back, everybody else jumped into action around Tucanos’ large salad bar, outfitted with rolls, fruit, a variety of salads, and all of the trimmings. Most of us filled up quickly, so we started to turn over the signal blocks for meat service so that we wouldn’t be too stuffed.

Around this time, one of our chauffeurs, Tim Morris, rose to give a quick toast. His booming, slow voice carried across the tables in recognition of what we do. We’re grateful to have him on our team.

Not that Tucanos was going to let a toast stop us from eating. Our waiter, Mike, then came around with a presentation tray of tantalizing desserts, and our stomachs instantly made room for more food. Creme brulee, triple-layer chocolate cake, cheesecake, cream, and a slew of other delectable items flew out of the kitchen towards our table, and we continued to dig in.

Upon completion, Philip returned to get the limo from its safe parking zone to bring everyone back home, only to find that someone had broken in a window and stolen the stereo out of the back (a lesson learned the hard way). However, because VIP Limousine is the largest limousine company in the state of Utah, he was able to quickly return to the warehouse and swap vehicles for the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter party bus limo. Upon his return, the night resumed as normal.

The following day, we contacted companies to install a brand-new stereo and new window, and the black Hummer was back in service without a hitch.

A broken window couldn’t dampen the joy and gratitude we have for our team and our clients over this past year. Growing pains, moving changes, industry shakeups, and all, we’re glad to serve our passengers from start to finish and make them feel like VIPs at every turn.

Going Local: Tucanos

At the top of The Gateway mall complex, the Salt Lake City location of Tucanos looks out across the valley skyline. Photo credit: tripadvisor.com
At the top of The Gateway mall complex, the Salt Lake City location of Tucanos looks out across the valley skyline. Photo credit: tripadvisor.com

In 2000, the seemingly sleepy college town of Provo became home to a unique restaurant experience in The Shop at Riverwoods with the opening of Tucanos Brazilian Grill, better known as Tucanos for short. Since then, the business has expanded to multiple locations across the Wasatch Front and around the country, including a brand new restaurant in Orem. It’s a place that owes a great deal to Utah’s ties to Brazil.

The newest location at the University Mall in Orem, Utah. Photo credit: randoco.com
The newest location at the University Mall in Orem, Utah. Photo credit: randoco.com

The Pampas region of Brazil is where much of the culinary inspiration of Tucanos comes from, in addition to the coastal regions and continental Europe. The blend of flavors in their food translates as distinctively unique and yet authentic, as does the party-like atmosphere inside, with the flamboyant, brash decor.

Tucanos’ service is a unique experience, too, as the waiters come around with freshly-cooked Brazilian meats, seafood, and grilled pineapple. It’s tough to say no to so many good flavor combinations! Pair this with the salad bar and the premium desserts, and diners are set for a fun night out.

We at VIP Limousine definitely recommend giving this place a try. Great food, friendly service, fair pricing.

Winter is here!

Take a guess as to where this picture was taken...
Take a guess as to where this picture was taken…

Every year, the team at VIP Limousine eagerly awaits the change of seasons. We might be biased, but we love wintertime in Utah, with the mountains above Salt Lake City getting draped in a blanket of that famous powder. People come from all over the world to experience skiing and boarding in the Wasatch.

Locals and visitors alike come to Alta, Beaver Mountain, Brighton, Cherry Peak, Deer Valley, Nordic Valley, Park City, Powder Mountain, Snowbasin, Snowbird, Solitude, and Sundance, or even the further distant locations of Brian Head and Eagle Point for their snow fix, and they deliver in abundance. Literally tens of thousands of acres between them serve over 4 million people every year, and for good reason. Our resort series about some of our favorites can also be found on this blog.

But what about outside of careening out of (or in) control down the majestic slopes of these magnificent resorts? Rest assured, there is plenty to do in Utah in the wintertime.

St. George, for example, doesn’t see nearly as much snow as the rest of the state, since it sits just north of the Arizona border. So there’s still hiking and natural sightseeing for the snowbirds who don’t go to Snowbird. And what if you’re not that far south, or prefer not to see red rock (for some inexplicable reason)?

All of the museum and historical sites in or near urban areas remain open year-round, since snow cannot cover up culture. Lights at the stunning Temple Square and other areas across the Wasatch Front are ready for viewing. There are skating rinks in Park City, The Gallivan Center, and the Salt Lake County Ice Center. The tubing hills of Gorgoza Park, Wasatch Parc, and Soldier Hollow, which also is home to nordic skiing and hosted some events from the 2002 Winter Olympic Games.

Speaking of the Olympics, the Utah Olympic Park in Summit County is also open year-round to visitors wishing to experience some of the history and happenings up close and personal from the Games that almost never happened. They also host Olympic trials, including this year around New Years. The Utah Olympic Oval in Kearns also has public events occurring throughout the season, where visitors have the chance to skate on an oval where many a speedskating record was broken.

Are you hankering for some live performing arts? Utah has no shortage of wintertime- and Christmas-themed masterpieces open to the public. Ballet West is performing their traditional and beautiful Nutcracker in downtown SLC. The Utah Symphony is performing a series of holiday concerts. Utah Opera also has some unique performances up and coming throughout the season. Let’s not forget, too, all of the concerts and shows being held at Vivint Smart Home Arena, the new Eccles Theatre, and the stunning new Hale Centre Theatre in Sandy. Finally, we cannot leave out Utah’s own world-famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir performing throughout the season as well as year-round.

Speaking of the Vivint Arena, the Utah Jazz are playing continually throughout the winter in downtown Salt Lake. There are also the college basketball games being held at Brigham Young University, the University of Utah, Weber State University, Southern Utah University, and Dixie State University.

If you really want to get off the beaten path in Utah this winter, there’s a wealth of opportunity out and about. The untouched areas of the mountains are home to great backcountry skiing and snowshoeing. If you’re in the mood for exactly the opposite, there are a variety of lodges and coffee shops where one can curl up with a cup of hot chocolate and just watch the snow fall.

Once upon a time, certain members of a visiting basketball team complained that there was nothing to do in Salt Lake City. Respectfully, we beg to differ. And where does VIP Limousine go?

We go to all of them, and have even gone out of state to world-class destinations such as Jackson Hole. So we invite you to join us in enjoying winter in Utah and the Intermountain West, and hope you love it as much as we do.