An Ohio State tailgate party can be a simple gathering out of a car's trunk, but some opt for a more extravagant affair.
Coach Quarters offers day-long leasing options using an upscale motor coach as the base of operations—for both home and away games. The cost is around $1,500 for 10 hours.
That $1,500, though, covers the driver and the fuel, says Mike Middaugh, founder and president of Coach Quarters. The company can provide catering, at an additional charge, but most clients provide their own meals.
Coaches can accommodate up to 23 people and are equipped with high-end galleys, lavish bathrooms and executive-style leather seating. Each coach has Wi-Fi, satellite-fed LCD TVs and a sound system with CD and DVD players.
Middaugh launched the Columbus-based company in 2002 with two coaches. The fleet has since grown to six, running trips out of Columbus and Cincinnati to both college and pro football games, horse racetracks, charity events, corporate meetings and even Bourbon Trail tours.
“The average load is 14 or 15 people,” Middaugh says. “People will meet us in parking lots and we drive them in to the games or sometimes we take the bus on-site and everyone meets there on their own.”
While many of the corporate clients have been local, other well-known customers have included Sen. John McCain, former House Speaker John Boehner, Aretha Franklin and even Paul McCartney, who rented a coach for one of his New York City concerts several years ago. In August, the Big Ten Network hired a motor coach to travel and broadcast for a day from each of the conference's cities.