Since most of his business was coming into Las Vegas, the move just made sense.
JusCollege, a company that helps college students book group travel, moved from San Francisco to Las Vegas in August.
“Sixty percent of our customers were doing stuff in Las Vegas,” said CEO Andrew Citores.
The move, Citores said, made sense from an operational and financial standpoint, with other perks.
“Las Vegas was more accommodating, with good talent,” he said. “A lot of people understand hospitality.”
JusCollege services 100 colleges, including UNLV and UNR, and offers 40 destinations and events, from San Francisco to Cabo San Lucas to music fests Coachella, Ultra and Lollapalooza.
It employs 14 full-timers and five consultants, and is looking to hire locally for its reservations team.
Specialists guide the experience, managing the events, which can become as large as 50 hotel rooms, four buses, a banquet hall and other activities.
“We do all of the customization and all of the risk management,” Citores said.
JusCollege expanded from 50 to 100 universities this year, and is focusing on the Northwest, Midwest and Texas. Its most popular markets are Las Vegas and Southern California.
The company has also acquired CaboSpringBreak.com travel company, and is looking at other relationships. Locally, it partners with The Venetian and has done some work with UNLV and UNR students.
Citores said college students are a unique group of travelers because they’re on the cusp of independence, but might not yet be there.
“It’s often their first time on their own, or their first time traveling alone,” Citores said. “So having a good guide with them, someone looking out for their best interests is very important.”
Additionally, he said the traditional travel agency is behind the times.
“It’s one of the industries that’s most broken,” Citores said.
Younger people want to book online, not make phone calls or sit-down appointments, and JusCollege’s Web booking circumnavigates that. There’s also an app that customers can use while on the trip to communicate with staff and each other.
The payment system is a pride point for Citores.
“We’ve instituted very lenient split-payment policies,” he said.
Students can buy a travel package and split the payments with friends, who are all able to pay their own portion online.
Citores said one of the greatest draws for college students is the community the group trips provide. Students can book private trips, or join planned trips that include students from various schools.
“There could be all of these other people doing the same thing and they might be coming from 100 different colleges,” Citores said.
Contact reporter Kristy Totten at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-477-3809.