“I’ve been doing it eight and a half years,” Moore says. “It’s been a phenomenal ride.”
He’d planned to sell the company a long time ago.
“I told myself … I would sell it when I got married.”
That didn’t happen. So then Moore told himself he’d sell the business when he had his first child. That didn’t happen either.
Now, he’s expecting his second child next month. The timing is right to leave, he says.
“Things aren’t quite as exciting as they once were,” Moore says. Also, he says he wanted “to get out when I was at the top of my game.”
Moore started with one bus and grew the business to nine buses.
Spot’s owner Mike Miller, who owns the cable service company Mill-Tel, opened his business with four buses in June.
“We felt that there was a big enough demand that we could get a share of the market and make it work.”
Miller has been running out of buses on the popular weekend nights, but he’s working on a fifth Spot’s bus and now also has eight Unified Party Bus buses.
“It’s really going to help us, we believe, gain market share.”
He says Moore had a strong corporate business for weekday rentals.
“We had not cultivated those relationships yet.”
Miller is keeping the Unified name on those buses.
“We don’t want to change what Wichita’s used to,” he says. “We don’t want to change what’s not broken.”
He’s keeping the Spot’s name, too, because he wants to take the brand to other markets.
“Our long-term goal is to grow this outside of the market,” Miller says.
With Mill-Tel offices already in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri and Nebraska, Miller says “it’s a logical fit that we could do that.”
You may still see Moore in his tiny yellow Unified Party Bus around town. He says he’s keeping his 14-passenger bus to have fun taking family and friends places.
“It’s kind of my pride and joy.”
There are now several competing party bus companies in Wichita.
“When I started, there wasn’t anyone else in this market,” Moore says.
He’s not sure what he’s going to do in the long term, but Moore knows what he’ll be doing in the short term.
“I am going to do whatever my wife asks me to do for a while, which will probably be a lot harder than what I’m used to doing.”
His wife, Ashley, owns Events By Ashley and already has plans for Moore to set up and tear down at events for her.
“She won’t even give me a week to relax.”
Moore is going to have some fun, though. Instead of taking bus after bus full of people to see light displays this holiday season, Moore says he’s going to take his daughter instead “and not have to fake how excited I am to see those Christmas lights.”