Marketplace: Former driver brings Ascent Luxury Transportation to Park City
Zeke McCabe is used to his life never going as planned, and he is happy because of it.
His most recent surprise was calling Diamond Limousine for a job as a driver and instead being hired as the director of sales and marketing for the company’s new black car service brand, Ascent Luxury Transportation. Now, he is charged with bringing the new company to the Park City area.
Nine years ago, McCabe stumbled into the transportation industry. He owned a photography and graphic design business when the recession hit him hard in 2008.
He rapidly lost clients and was in need of work when a former client, All Resort Group, Inc., gave him a call. One of the owners of the company offered McCabe a job as a driver.
“I was sort of looking at it being a Band-Aid to get back to revenue from my company,” he said.
It took adjusting at first, especially because McCabe had to get used to being the driver rather than the passenger. His job as a photographer had taken him around the world, and he had frequently traveled with a private driving service.
But a few weeks into the work, he started enjoying driving up and down Parleys Canyon and around town. He loved meeting people and providing a quality experience. He tapped into his pre-photographer days working in the restaurant industry and strove to create the best service possible for his guests.
As he improved his own skills, he became a leader in the company and, eventually, a manager.
Then, another surprise hit him square in the face. Last year, All Resort Group, Inc., closed for good.
“As it went, so did I,” McCabe said.
Desperate again for work, he called Diamond Limousine, a 30-year-old company based out of Salt Lake City, to ask for a job as a driver. He was denied.
But the company called McCabe back to offer him a different position. He had experience in photography and graphic design, but he had also started a small consulting business that Diamond Limousine saw as attractive. McCabe was hired in April to do sales and marketing for the company.
When McCabe joined, he convinced Diamond Limousine to go after the Park City market to fill the void left by All Resort Group leaving. Around the same time, the company was creating a sub-brand called Ascent Luxury Transportation to provide elite guest service. Ascent Luxury Transportation formed in the fall.
It is focused on serving the population in Park City through private car service and shared van service to places like the Salt Lake City airport and the resorts.
McCabe said it has been exciting getting the business up and running, but the most rewarding part has been working with several former All Resort Group employees who joined Ascent Luxury Transportation.
When All Resort Group closed, he said, a lot of the employees were upset and angry. They lost their jobs and they lost their All Resort Group family.
“It was a real family. It was devastating when it went away,” he said. “It’s kind of like getting the band back together.”
Now, those drivers “have a home again,” he said. At a training meeting a couple weeks ago, McCabe said some of his friends and co-workers from All Resort Group began to cry because they were so excited to be working again.
Ascent Luxury Transportation is small compared to what many of the employees were used to — there are only 25 vehicles currently in the fleet — but McCabe said they plan to grow that number in the next few months.
The company also plans to open an office in Park City soon, because headquarters are currently based out of Salt Lake City. Some Park City drivers have the Ascent vehicles in town while the rest are kept in the valley.
That is the plan, but McCabe is along for the ride. He knows how quickly plans can change.
Ascent Luxury Transportation
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