After graduating high school in southwest Missouri, Justin Bartosh decided to forgo his first semester of college, instead opting to visit a place he fell in love with over the internet but had never visited – St. John. One semester became two, which soon became three, and seven years later, Justin still calls St. John home. But it’s something else cool that happened to Justin late last month that we’d like to tell you about – he and his good friend purchased a pretty popular business on island – one we didn’t even know was for sale.
Justin and Erin Piper, known simply as Piper around the island, are the new owners of Paris Car Rental. It took six long months of running around to seal the deal, Justin said – they had to hand deliver papers in St. John, involve the commissioner on St. Thomas … the list goes on and on – but it was all worth it when they signed the paperwork in Cruz Bay just over a week ago.
“We were pretty excited,” Justin said.
Paris Car Rental will soon be renamed Mr. Piper’s Jeeps, and Justin and Piper plan to replace all of Paris’s current vehicles with Jeep Wranglers. They plan to keep a handful of seven-passenger vehicles on hand, as well, but the business will primarily rent two- and four-door Jeep Wranglers. Half of the fleet will be replaced by December 1st and the second half will be replaced by January 1st. They also plan to stick with Paris’s seasonal discount which is a big draw for tourists in low season.
The duo plans to sell their current vehicles which range from Wranglers to Durangos to safari trucks. They’d like to sell all locally if possible. The cars are from 2008 and newer, so if you’re looking for a new vehicle, this may be the way to go.
They’re also looking to make the vehicle pickup a bit less hectic and easier for the customer. They plan to offer shuttle serve from the ferry dock to their office where the villa greeter can also meet guests. They also plan to offer villa drop off service for an additional fee which will be determined based on the villa’s location. Arriving on the midnight ferry? No problem. Justin and Piper will meet you at any hour.
“It is our mission to really go above and beyond for our customers and villa companies on island,” Justin said. “We will entertain any request and do our best to accommodate everyone. Piper and myself of all people (the pair worked together in the villa rental business for the past four years) understand the difficulty and the hard work villa companies go through to simply get guests from the ferry to the villa. If we can help make that easier, that is our goal. Another beautiful things is, Piper and Myself are workaholics, so with that being said, we don’t care if guests are coming on the 7 a.m. ferry or the midnight ferry. We will be there to make sure they get their car when they arrive. Villa companies don’t get the option to close their doors when they have guests coming in, so why should we? We are working for them!”