Monday, May 16, 2016 1:00 AM
Utah Business Magazine — This week, owners and more than 140 employees from Le Bus, Salt Lake City, are celebrating the 30th anniversary of the company’s opening in Salt Lake City on Tuesday. With a fleet size of 77 vehicles that includes full-size buses, vans and support vehicles, the company is currently listed in the top 25 largest private charter bus companies in the United States and Canada.
“I am so proud of this operation. We are now starting into third generation of family members helping with all aspects of our business. We are honored to continue to provide great transportation to our convention and tourism partners, with a staff and employees committed to safety and dedicated to service,” said Dennis Copyak General Manager. “Then and now, customers enjoy personal attention from the company and their commitment to reliable, safe and clean equipment.”
Over the years, Le Bus has developed innovative ways to service the travel needs of all tourism and business partners. They work closely with Visit Salt Lake to service the convention transportation needs for nearly 350,000 convention delegates in 2015 alone. They look forward to being a major transportation supplier this August for the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), one of the most important conferences that Utah has ever hosted, dubbed the “Super Bowl of Conventions.”
And the growth just continues. The company logged over 4 million miles in 2015 and looks to top that mark in 2016. Utah was voted the top destination in the world this year by Fodor’s Travel, which is anticipated to result in a large growth in tourism traffic of guests from around the world that will be needing transportation to Utah’s convention centers and popular tourist destinations.
“Le Bus celebrates this 30-year accomplishment as we move forward with a dedicated group that loves to show off Utah and our great National Parks, and loves transporting visitors to our area for their vacation and business needs,” continues Copyak. “With the addition of Wi-Fi onboard, individual charging stations at every seat, HDMI capabilities, the newest models are state-of-the-art and we are happy to have all of those services for our customers. We will continue to innovate and grow as our tourism market continues to expand and thrive.”
Adding several new buses each year, the company continues to build the fleet for local and regional travel needs with a commitment to having the best-trained drivers and highly visible equipment. These efforts earned Le Bus a national recognition of being one of the best transportation operators in the western United States.
Le Bus History
On May 17, 1986, Dennis Copyak and his partner Jim Zanetti brought a couple of buses into the Salt Lake Valley, offering transportation for travelers. Travel into National Parks, transportation activities from Utah to surrounding states and local in-state travel needs for groups and area businesses provided them ample business opportunities.
One of the company’s first moves was to join the then-called Salt Lake Convention and Visitor’s Bureau (now Visit Salt Lake). They also attended the Utah Travel Council (now Utah Office of Tourism) meetings in order to learn more about the state and its transportation needs. They put together a strong business plan to best to meet the needs of all their tourism marketing partners.
By the end of 1986 the company purchased two new 46-passenger buses that became the first of several flagships. By early 1990, Le Bus established itself to be a reputable transportation option as they built the fleet to 20 vehicles, offering the latest and newest innovations in the industry. In the early 90’s, the buses offered a neon look that was popular at the time with the hot pinks and blue heartbeats of America. The double decker “Fun Bus” was added to the fleet in 1998 that was a novelty for the Wendover, Nevada clients and now operate three of these 81 passenger “fun” buses. Over 120,000 passengers were transported by Le Bus to Wendover, Nevada in 2015.
The company expanded its transportation to over 40 buses at the time of the 2002 Winter Games and contracted to bring 100 motor coaches from all over the country to help with their media contract obligation during the games and Paralympic games that followed.
Le Bus has maintained the highest ratings with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The wavy pink and blue buses that numbered over 45 buses in the mid 2000’s became a fleet of new modern-looking buses with changes to earthly grey and blacks that is well recognized throughout the western United States today. The Globus Family of Brands tours into National Parks selected Le Bus in the early 1990’s and has been a strong repeat customer. For the past three years, 2013-15, Globus named Le Bus as the top company in the US and Canada for equipment and drivers for their tours.
The 2015-16 NBA season was the first year that Le Bus operated for every team when visiting the Jazz. Most of the NCAA and High School transportation needs in Utah have enjoyed using Le Bus and church treks last season added more than 140 treks to places like Martin’s Cove in Wyoming.