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Then and Now, a Historical Prospective

Welcome! I’m Doug Rauen, the original domain registrant and founder of Inc. Let me take this opportunity to give you a little background on myself and my time in the limo industry. Many years ago, as a senior at a local Oregon College, I got my first taste of driving a limo. After college, I spent the next few years working my way up the company ladder. It’s obvious to anyone who sees my resume that the limo and transportation industry was my passion pretty early on. In fact, to this very day I still own and operate a mid-sized limo / town car company.

How Inc. came to be: In the spring of 1995, I attended an online workshop. In that very workshop, I searched on the name “limo,” and to my surprise, the domain was available! I registered the domain then and there.

In the early years I simply sat on and watched others in the limo industry try to execute their online business plans and make those sites with similar names work. Those businesses are not here today. In the midst of the dot com explosion, 1995 to 2001, I hired IBM to do a feasibility study on a new type of online reservation system and various operator enhanced services; I simply needed them to verify the revenue potential. The outcome was a big yes; this could be a lucrative site. Just when the team was ready to invest more money and seek VC funding I sat back and took a big breath. Something told me it was time to put on the brakes. The next month (October 2001) the dot com bubble burst. My intuition was dead on.

Over the years I researched several low capital site development scenarios, all the while wanting to find the best way to serve the limo industry and its operators. We decided to build an advertising directory service, and offer various limo operator utilities. The goal was to create a site that was easy and affordable for the smaller limo operators, but also offer a service that could be beneficial for the larger limo companies. The idea worked, and the site gradually grew. Then gas prices spiked, forcing many limo operators to re-adjust their spending. In an effort to help my fellow limo drivers, limo manufacturers and limo companies, I offered as many deals and promotions as I could. Owning my own town car service made the need to help the others even more important, I knew if my bottom line was affected, theirs certainly was too. Then the double whammy: a slowing economy.

In the spring of 2008, at the annual National Limousine Association and Limousine Chauffeur and Transportation (NLA – LCT) show in Las Vegas, I introduced myself to the new owners of They had just bought and were new to the industry. Although, they did have a travel background and had many members of the original Hotwire founders team. We had a pleasant talk and agreed that two great domain names like ours would work better together than working against each other. Talks began four months after that initial meeting. A co-branding deal was reach in the spring of 2009, and we’ve been enthusiastic partners ever since.

This was a strategic move to equip us to better serve our customers and the transportation industry. It secures our future by allowing us to leverage the knowledge and strength of Limos state of the art technology and stellar customer support. At the same time, this independent partner model lets us retain the unique qualities of our business culture and environment that have driven the continuous innovation, entrepreneurial agility, and customer-oriented solutions which have positioned us as a thought leader in our market.

The merger has added dimension to our business. Our history and experience defines Us, and with our site structure and strategic partnership, we have confidence that we will stick with a traditions that continue to boost this amazing industry and offer so much to our valuable consumers.

Thank you for reading this. Please feel free to contact me directly at if I can personally answer any limo industry-related questions.

Doug Rauen

Founder and CEO of Inc.

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