When Larry Logeman found out he had cancer last year, his business plans shifted a bit.
Logeman, the owner of Executive Express for the past 15 years, had a lot of conversations with his wife. “That was a tough six months and it really made me think about my life a little bit more and if I should still be working in this 24-hour-a-day business,” he said.
Groome Transportation approached Logeman in the fall of 2017 about a merger. However, Logeman wasn’t ready to talk about the merger with Groome until after his diagnosis in 2018 and the two businesses agreed on a plan.
Executive Express’s airport shuttle service to the Twin Cities has been purchased by Groome Transportation, and will be integrated with Groome’s existing Twin Cities airport shuttle service, operating out of the facility in Waite Park that was opened in 2018 by Executive Express. In addition to Alexandria, pickup locations include St. Cloud, Brainerd and Monticello.
With the merger, travelers will have the same shuttle service but see upgrades such as new larger shuttle vehicles, a new cadillac shuttle in the private car service, and upgrades to the website. A large outdoor sign will also be added to the Alexandria location.
Logeman’s cancer is currently in remission and he said this merger gives him the opportunity to only work a standard full-time weekday schedule.
“I’ve never done that in 15 years. I don’t even know what that’s like,” he said. He has been enjoying spending more time with family since the merger.
Executive Express began service in central Minnesota in 1979. The merger allows it to focus on and grow the other services the company provides. It will continue to separately operate its charter, package delivery and Iowa shuttle businesses.
Jason Deitz, director of marketing at Groome Transportation, said Logeman built a really great business and it was attractive for Groome to purchase the part of the business and expand its service in the area.
“Our plan is not to change really what he’s done,” Deitz said. “If anything, there might be some improvements that we would be able to make just by being a brand with a larger, national footprint.”
Groome also provides shuttle services in Rochester, Duluth and Eau Claire, Wisconsin, to the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport. Nationally, the family-owned and -operated company serves 13 major hub airports.
Success for Groome means customers don’t even notice that there was a change in the shuttle provider, he said. The focus that Executive Express had on customer service and safety is going to continue throughout the merger.
Groome is working on expanding and improving technology associated with its ground transportation, in addition to creating a mobile app for an easy reservation process.
The customer lounge previously owned by Executive Express in the St. Cloud location was a nice acquisition, Deitz said. “It seemed like a really good fit, so we’re super pleased that it was able to work out the way that it did.”