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Riding in Luxury
By Cody Moore, Photography by Kayla Broadway

Two years ago, Jonesboro residents Tony Goforth and Craig O’Brien teamed up to start their own business, Empire Luxury Transportation, with the hope of providing Jonesboro and Northeast Arkansas with an unforgettable transportation experience.

Goforth, who moved to Jonesboro 10 years ago from southern Illinois, previously worked as a manager at FedEx before starting Empire Luxury Transportation. O’Brien, who moved to Jonesboro 11 years ago from Hagerstown, Md., also owns Seal It Up Inc., a Jonesboro-based coating, line striping and parking lot maintenance company.

Both Goforth and O’Brien also have experience working in the transportation business. The two worked together at Jonesboro Limousine as chauffeurs before buying the company from its previous owner, Doug Thomas.

“Both Craig and I worked for Jonesboro Limo as drivers and always thought that Jonesboro needed a black suburban service, so we started one,” said Goforth. “We informed Doug of what we were doing, and he offered to sell us his business.”

“I’ve always wanted to own a limousine company,” said O’Brien. “I guess you could say it was a dream of mine. I drove for a transportation company in the Baltimore and D.C. area that provided quality services, and after moving here, we wanted to bring that same quality to the Jonesboro area.”

After being in business for 20 years, Jonesboro Limousine officially changed its name to Empire Luxury Transportation in 2018 under Goforth and O’Brien’s new ownership.

“We want Empire to be a company that makes any evening or event stress-free, whether you are looking for a night out or shuttling 200 people to a wedding venue,” said Goforth. “When you book with Empire, you don’t just get a rented vehicle, but a professional black-suited chauffeur and a red carpet roll out. The client’s car is also fully stocked with beverages … complimentary, of course.”

Empire Luxury Transportation offers exceptional transportation packages and services, as well as a growing fleet of vehicles from which clients may choose.

“We currently have four stretch limousines with a capacity of up to 12 passengers, two black Suburbans and a black sedan,” said Goforth.

Empire specializes in airport transportation, meet and greet services, local and long-distance travel to meetings, basic point-to-point transfers and a worldwide booking service, allowing Empire to schedule pick-up and drop-off destinations with its affiliates for clients who are traveling internationally.

Empire also has special transportation packages designed for weddings, proms, bachelor and bachelorette events, or even something as simple as a night out on the town. Empire currently employs five professional chauffeurs who work to make each experience as memorable as possible for each client.

“Our customer service is what sets us apart,” said O’Brien. “From the office staff to the drivers, every single person goes above and beyond to provide top-notch service to our clients.”

V.I.P. packages are also available, including the Platinum Memphis package, consisting of a chauffeur, a meal for two at Texas de Brazil and two tickets to a production at The Orpheum Theatre in Memphis; and the V.I.P Jonesboro package, consisting of a chauffeur, a meal for two at Omar’s Uptown in Downtown Jonesboro and two tickets to the Malco Hollywood Theater. The most popular V.I.P package, though, is one that is fit for a princess.

“With our Princess for a Day package, the princess and eight of her closest friends can enjoy a day on the town in an enchanted limousine ride,” said Goforth. “A professional chauffeur will be wearing a black suit, white shirt, black bow tie, white gloves and a top hat. They will roll out a 3-by-10 red carpet for the princess and her guests, as well as offer a tiara and a single uncut long-stemmed pink rose for the princess.”

In addition to supplying members of the community with a sleek transportation alternative, Empire has also been a source of transportation for guests attending Junior Auxiliary of Jonesboro’s (JA) annual Charity Ball for the past three years.

“Junior Auxiliary is incredible to work with,” said Goforth. “We just want to take the stress of getting home after the event out of the equation.”

Empire Luxury Transportation is currently booking transportation for the upcoming prom season, as well. The owners recommend that those interested in transportation for prom call as soon as possible due to high demand.

Since its start, Empire Luxury Transportation has continued to grow each year, something both Goforth and O’Brien give full credit to the support the business has received from Jonesboro and Northeast Arkansas.

“It’s because of the folks in the area that we are able to be considered a success,” said Goforth. “We have tripled business in the last two years, and it would be impossible without the overwhelming support of Northeast Arkansas.”

“My hope is to grow opportunity, expand our fleet and to be able to serve the Jonesboro and Northeast Arkansas area with excellence in all of our services,” added O’Brien. “We want our clients to know that they can trust us, whether it be with an airport shuttle, corporate event, wedding, funeral, a birthday celebration or prom. We want to provide a stress-free and memorable experience to all.”

Empire Luxury Transportation of Jonesboro, located at 5213 Hwy. 1 South, offers 24/7 assistance through its business phone. For more information on booking Empire for transportation services, call (870) 351-3215. To view a detailed list of transportation packages, visit empireofjonesboro.com.