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BYU student takes his riders in style

Most jobs are for wedding parties or high school proms

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PROVO — The ride Ryan Redford remembers most was to an elementary school.

When he pulled up driving his white stretch limo, the kids rushed to the car, pressing their faces against the windows to catch a glimpse inside.

To their disappointment, there was no movie star in the car. Redford was picking up one of their classmates.

That was Redford's most memorable stint as a limo driver, but there have been others. Like the time he took a wedding party to a movie and then to a hotel — a few hours before the wedding.

Redford, a student at Brigham Young University, bought a used limo last year to diversify his wife's wedding decoration business. The limo has done that — keeping Redford busy on weekends — but instead of leaving the car at home, Redford rents it out during the week.

He parks the car on 800 North in Provo, at the foot of BYU, with a black sign attached to the roof. "Student rides $35 an hour," the sign reads in hot pink.

Within days of posting the sign, Redford got a call. And another. And another.

"It's doing way better than I expected," Redford said. "Most people have never been in a limo. It's a chance to cruise around in luxury."

Last week Redford gave three groups of college students rides. He took one group of 10 to the Mayan Restaurant in Sandy and back.

Redford usually wears a chauffeur's cap and a tie when he drives, but for more formal occasions he will borrow a tux from his in-laws, who run a wedding boutique in Spanish Fork.

The ride is "a party on wheels," Redford says. It comes equipped with a television, VCR and Nintendo 64. When high school kids play music too loud in the back, or when newlyweds want some privacy, Redford raises a partition that separates him from his passengers.

And when the party stops, he rolls out a red carpet for his guests to exit the car.

"We want to do something different, like they're in a movie," he said.

Most of his limo rides are for high school proms or weddings, but he hopes once word of his service gets out, more BYU students will use it.

Because the limo comfortably seats 10, $35 an hour is a bargain, Redford says, especially considering the cost of similar services in Salt Lake City.

"I'm making pretty good money off it," he said. "We have a minivan that gets worse gas mileage."

E-MAIL: jhyde@desnews.com