A Chandler company is chauffeuring tourists from Scottsdale's elegant resorts to posh restaurants and pricey golf courses. And while the passengers clearly have the wherewithal to pay for the ride, it's all on the house.
The eateries and golf courses pick up the tab, said Randy Grossman, co-owner of Idle Exclusive, the 7-month-old business that the former Arizona Biltmore concierge and his partner, Tony Christofellis, launched with big ideas and three Mercedes-Benz R-class cars.
So far, Idle has eight restaurant clients and two golf courses, Grossman said.
It's a short but impressive list. The golf courses at the Valley's two JW Marriott resorts, Camelback Inn and Desert Ridge, are on board, he said. So are restaurants like Fleming's Prime Steakhouse and Sol y Sombra at DC Ranch.
Idle has brought new business to Sol y Sombra, said Quinn Goldsberry, managing partner for the posh Spanish-style gourmet eatery.
Besides actually bringing people to the restaurant, Idle pitches it as well as the free rides there to resort concierges, Goldsberry said.
And for a restaurant tucked into a lushly landscaped residential community, that's a big bonus, he said.
"There are not a lot of nearby hotels, and this has already given us a presence with the (Scottsdale resort) concierges," Goldsberry said. "We only started with Idle a month ago, and it's been good. People who have used the service said they loved it."
Goldsberry said one of the key reasons he sealed a deal is because of the safe-ride aspect. "Guests can come here and enjoy dinner with wine or cocktails and not have to worry about driving back," he said.
That's a selling point for Jeff Burkowitz, general manager of Roka Akor, the London-based Japanese restaurant that opened recently in Scottsdale. Burkowitz said he hasn't decided yet whether to sign a contract with Idle, but he said the company has already brought him customers.
Burkowitz is more interested in enticing diners from high-end residential communities in Scottsdale and Paradise Valley than going after tourists.
That is also on Idle's agenda, Grossman said. He's talking with homeowners association leaders and trying to spread word of the business to residents.
He already tailors his services to resort guests based on details provided by concierges, for example, pre-tuning the Mercedes radio to broadcast music or sports preferences, keeping chilled water on hand, and welcoming guests with a birthday balloon, a rose or other item if appropriate for the occasion.
He hopes to do the same for local residents, providing not just a ride but also performing the functions a resort concierge handles for the tourists, such as making recommendations and booking reservations based on a guests personal preferences.
And as for the paying clients, Grossman hopes to add luxury spa destinations to the list.
The partners also plan to expand the business by offering a luxury level of valet service, Grossman said. "This is a new and exciting level of luxury, and we see tremendous potential (for growth)," Grossman said.