Super Bowl countdown on, hundreds of limos pouring into Big Easy - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Super Bowl countdown on, hundreds of limos pouring into Big Easy

New Orleans, La. -

New Orleans limousine companies are shipping in new limos, busses, and SUV's from across the country to prepare for the onslaught of VIP's coming to town for the Super Bowl.  They are working hard to make sure they adhere to new regulations.  But hundreds of other limos are expected to flood the city, largely without proper approvals.

Hundreds of football fans are expected to shell out around $70 an hour to hire a limo for VIP events all over town.

"You can't make any plans through Mardi Gras until it's over,"said driver Clay Leach.

The drivers are already busy. Before the big game, there's plenty to do.  These luxury rides, are spritzed, scrubbed and polished before anyone gets in.   And don't forget the beverage of your choice.

"I'm doing the driving, they can drink as much as they want," said driver Gerald Alexander.

Up to 500 local limos and limo busses are being gussied up for company, each fully equipped for a good time.

There's a lot of money to be made. Each limo can make up to $1500 a day, with a 20 percent tip for the driver on top of that.

While local limo companies gear up they're not expected to meet all the demand.  That's why as many as 500 unregulated limos are expected to come to New Orleans to try and capitalize.

Leach is among the dozens of people who lost his job with the Times-Picayune, and is happy to be busy. "I would love to see the Saints in there, but without the Saints it's two good teams," he said.

Leach loves his new gig, but the job does have its challenges.  "The challenges are traffic.  The sheer volume is a challenge in a city the size of New Orleans," he said.

The good news is that people who get into one of these are ready to have a good time, as they leave the driving to their chauffeur.  "Most people are in a good mood to be in New Orleans, they want to have fun, looking for restaurants, most are in a good mood," said Alexander.

And it's these drivers' jobs to make sure their passengers stay that way, no matter which team wins the big game.

Limos have to go through a rigorous city inspection before they are licensed. And with so many unlicensed limos expected in town, city regulators are expected to have a tough time keeping up.

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