Destin is a GREAT place to have your wedding. It's also a great place to have your bachelor or bachelorette party. But if you're having your bachelorette or bachelor party during the Emerald Coast's busy season from March to October, Destin is also GREAT for traffic. So, why add that to your hassle? Go with Destin Tiki Bus, instead! Seating 10 people comfortably, it's perfectly suited to accommodate your wedding VIPs and allow everyone to just enjoy themselves for the party (or even the weekend!) without having to worry about logistics.
DJ Josh got a chance to chat with Destin Tiki Bus co-owner, Stu Campbell. He shared why he's so proud of what Destin Tiki Bus is and how it can really make your night a highlight everyone will never forget! He also talked about his love for driving, helping make an experience the best it can be for guests, and what he particularly loves about Destin.
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The intro and outro for this Highlight Weddings & Events Podcast were both edited and produced by DropHouse Voiceover Production Studio and Tony Tee Neto, Voiceover Artist & Audio Producer. For more info on branding elements, editing, and post-production services, visit http://drophouse.com.
The song used for the intro and outro for this episode is Crush by https://audiohub.com License: CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:00:00] This is Season 2, Episode 11 of Make Your Wedding a Highlight. My name is DJ Josh from Highlight Weddings and Events. My guest today is Stu Campbell, co-owner of Destin Tiki Bus.
[00:00:28] Well, hello everyone. Thanks for checking out the podcast. My name is DJ Josh from Highlight Weddings and Events, and I have an awesome guest today. His name is Stu Campbell from Destin Tiki Bus. How are you doing today, Stu?
[00:00:40] Stu Campbell: [00:00:40] Aloha Josh. I'm doing well. How are you?
[00:00:43] DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:00:43] Aloha to you, too, Stu. I'm doing all right.
[00:00:46] I'm on my first cup of coffee this morning. It's a little dreary today. Because apparently we're having some cold front or severe weather going through, but I wouldn't be anywhere else. Stu, if you don't mind, would you share a little bit about yourself to the listeners? Like how you got to this point being the co-owner of Destin Tiki Bus?
[00:01:08]Stu Campbell: [00:01:08] Absolutely. I have a healthy obsession with driving and I just adore people. So a bartender of over 20 years, I like the party scene. I like people feeling like they're a little bit on vacation. I like being a part of it. I'm glad to be the only sober one in the room. It only makes sense that I would drive a party bus. My partner and friend, Bobby, came up with this idea to do a tropical- themed party bus. And I was all in from the very beginning.
[00:01:37]DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:01:37] Okay. Could you describe what the party bus looks like? Somebody is walking into it. What are they going to experience?
[00:01:44]Stu Campbell: [00:01:44] First thing they're going to notice is that we have ropes tightly wrapped around the handrails, pontoon boat style seating, bamboo on the walls, and a built-in ice chest where it's always five o'clock.
[00:01:56]DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:01:56] Nice.
[00:01:57] Stu Campbell: [00:01:57] It's very fun, it's casual, but it's nicely put together. And, being the pontoon boat style seating, it's shaped like limousine style seating as well, where everybody's facing each other: very social.
[00:02:09]DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:02:09] How would you describe your ideal client? Who do you think Destin Tiki Bus is perfectly suited for?
[00:02:15]Stu Campbell: [00:02:15] We're perfectly suited for anybody who wants to go out on the town and see the bars or Be together and not have to be in separate Uber cars or something like that. Bachelorette parties, bachelor parties, wedding parties say if you wanted all the bridesmaids to ride to and from the wedding or, the groomsmen. Or if you just wanted to pick up extended family members and show them around the town.
[00:02:40]DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:02:40] All right. Well, that sounds like a awesome time. What excites you specifically about being a part of those kinds of celebrations?
[00:02:48]Stu Campbell: [00:02:48] I love being a part of the memories. I love embracing the fact that when you get everybody together, as hard as it is to get everybody together if it's a destination vacation or wedding or whatever the occasion is, I love being a part of making it happen. I love being the reliable one that shows up and gets everybody there safely. I love being the one that's willing to jump in and photo bomb if we're stopped. Being a part of their memories.
[00:03:14] DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:03:14] So you kind of see your role as sort of like a guardian, a caretaker to make the night as awesome as it can be.
[00:03:20]Stu Campbell: [00:03:20] Absolutely.
[00:03:21]DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:03:21] So what does Destin Tiki Bus do to make that experience a highlight?
[00:03:27]Stu Campbell: [00:03:27] The look of it and the environment that it produces. Keeps it upbeat and fun. It is safe and there's comfort in safety. People can relax and just rely on the driver to get them where they need to be to know where he's going and to make it easy.
[00:03:44]DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:03:44] What are some things that someone should know before inquiring with Destin Tiki Bus to be a part of their event?
[00:03:52]Stu Campbell: [00:03:52] We seat up to 10 people comfortably. On the off chance that there was more, you're allowed to be on there, but it's not comfortable to be standing in the aisles.
[00:04:02] DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:04:02] Right.
[00:04:03]Stu Campbell: [00:04:03] So I would keep that in mind. It does have a built-in ice chest and usually have ice and bottled water already available. But when people get on board, they're welcome to bring their beverages of any sort and just help themselves to the ice chest. We do ask that if it's alcoholic beverages, that they bring it themselves. But I'm glad to make a stop and have any snacks or beverages set up, otherwise, if that's convenient for them.
[00:04:29]Another feature of the bus is that when passengers arrive, we have a stereo that they can control themselves. I would just give you the Bluetooth information and let you control it from your phone.
[00:04:40]DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:04:40] Ah, so they get to create the party themselves.
[00:04:42]Stu Campbell: [00:04:42] Exactly. I'm glad to play song lists that I have saved of my own, but generally you get a group together. They've already made memories with a certain set of songs and it always helps to get those playin.
[00:04:57]DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:04:57] Yeah. Totally. that's the way it is for me as a wedding or private event DJ. I realize that I have a fair amount of event experience. So I have a general idea of what songs will work with most crowds. But I also realize that there are going to be specific songs that have a special meaning to most of the group.
[00:05:17]Like for instance, if it's a crowd where they have a fair amount of Ole Miss alumni, Don't Stop Believing by Journey is going to make the place explode. Or if you have Tennessee grads, Rocky Top is going to be very appropriate and I actually was part of a wedding where the bride was from Mississippi and the groom was from Tennessee. So I actually got to play both of them. And it was just really cool. It's kind of like rivalry type of thing.
[00:05:43]Stu Campbell: [00:05:43] Absolutely. And if you can play the songs, whether it be in the DJ environment or on the bus, if you can play the song, as the people sing along too loudly, then you're moving them in the right direction.
[00:05:54] DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:05:54] Even though we are currently going through having a vaccine in the country and all that kind of stuff, COVID-19 has definitely impacted everyone a little bit differently. So would you mind sharing how your COVID-19 experience has been both personally and professionally?
[00:06:11]Stu Campbell: [00:06:11] For the Tiki Bus during the initial closure, we decided to put the whole thing on the side. We realize that we could have possibly driven families or personal friends or something, but it just didn't make sense to try to book nights out in a bus when there was so much that we didn't know about COVID. So, we took 2020 off. Now, it seems an even more appropriate business to have as more and more people are coming to Florida, and it's harder to find transportation for everybody. Planning a night out on Destin Tiki Bus is a really convenient way to get out about and to see whatever it is you want to see whether it be the bar scene or just out to dinner to get everybody to and from.
[00:06:57]DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:06:57] Yeah, totally. You don't have to deal with parking. If you're going to like Harbor walk or just some of the local restaurants don't have the best parking set up, especially if you're going to have anywhere from three to five vehicles that are all going to be going to the same location.
[00:07:11]Stu Campbell: [00:07:11] Exactly. But you can still treat it just like it's your vehicle. When you get to dinner, if you're not wanting to carry your personal belongings, if you decide you don't want your jacket with you, or want to leave your purse on board or something, the bus is going to be safe. I'll be with the bus. If I do park it somewhere, it'll be locked up, but I won't walk away from it. I'll be from the first member of your party has picked up to the last one dropped back off safely at their place, the driver is engaged and with the vehicle.
[00:07:38] DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:07:38] Okay. What kind of hours are available for the Bus to be booked for?
[00:07:44] Stu Campbell: [00:07:44] As long as we're planning it in advance, any hours are fine. Again, as a long time bartender, I bet I can stay up later than you. The way I treat it, you know? The most popular times are generally, pick up in the evening and drive into the night: two, three o'clock in the morning. But anytime is fine depending on the event, we can plan around the clock.
[00:08:06] DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:08:06] All right, Stu. Well, thanks for sharing a little bit about Destin Tiki Bus, and how it can be an awesome part of a group's night. Would you mind sharing a little bit about yourself personally?
[00:08:16]Stu Campbell: [00:08:16] Certainly. I have grown up my teenage years on in the South, and I fell in love with Destin. I love showing it off to people. I love introducing them to what we have to offer. I love getting to know them and being a part of their memories and look forward to meeting as many people as I can.
[00:08:35]I feel very comfortable in the party environment when people are drinking and singing and having a good time, or even if there's trouble. I'm glad to help absorb some of that negativity because it's a challenge
[00:08:46] DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:08:46] Yeah, one of the things that I see myself as the DJ. One of my jobs is to make it so that there aren't any things that detract from the overall experience. For instance, there was a, wedding that I was a part of last year. And as I was breaking down, one of the comments I heard was, "This is like the first wedding that I've been to where none of the songs I was thinking, 'Why is he playing that song?'" it's something super simple, and most people aren't going to immediately identify it when something's going right.
[00:09:20] But it's when something is off or is going wrong, that's when the guests or anyone at the event is like, "Oh, what going on?" pulls them out of just being in the moment. And instead now they're like, "Oh wait, what else should we be aware of? What else should we be getting ready to adapt to?"
[00:09:38]I can totally relate to that kind of posture and wanting to make it so that everyone can just enjoy themselves and not have to worry or add stress to specifically a wedding. Something that's already very stressful anyway.
[00:09:51]So what did you want to be when you grew up?
[00:09:53]Stu Campbell: [00:09:53] I was all over the board. As a little kid, I wanted to drive all the industrious trucks. I love dump trucks and garbage trucks and cranes and things. As time went on, I wanted to be a part of entertainment. I like concerts and sporting events when thousands of people get on their feet and scream about something. I wanted to be part of, maybe I don't know about the cause of that, but I wanted to be in the background. I wanted to be in lights. I wanted to be in sound. I wanted to be involved in entertainment.
[00:10:20] And then in my restaurant career, I discovered the bar scene. I think that's what it brought the people into it. And so my entire adult life, I've just wanted to be engaged with people. I love the adventure of talking to strangers.
[00:10:35]DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:10:35] What's your favorite drink to make?
[00:10:37]Stu Campbell: [00:10:37] Wow. My favorite drink to make. One of my drinks that I created a long time ago that's one of the most popular is a Hollywood. And it's citrus vodka, strawberry puree, and lemonade. I enjoy making that the most because it's my own. Where I work, it's become part of the thing. It's been so popular. But if I'm in a private setting, it's more about what surrounds the drink. So if somebody has one that's popular with the group, I'm glad to make that a thousand times. When I'm drinking myself, I like beer.
[00:11:05]DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:11:05] What's your favorite kind of beer?
[00:11:07] Stu Campbell: [00:11:07] I like porters and stouts and IPA's. My favorite kind of beer is ever changing because locally, I think that third planet is making a fantastic IPA in Dank Side of the Moon. That's probably my favorite niceville beer.
[00:11:19] DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:11:19] Nice, nice. Shout out to the local brewers in the area. We actually have a fair amount One of them.
[00:11:24] Stu Campbell: [00:11:24] We do, and they're all doing a good job. I'm proud of everybody. I think that we can't get enough of them. These people are not in competition with each other because they're doing nothing but building a strong community. And I think they all belong here together.
[00:11:38]DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:11:38] Yeah. There's few things that can bring people together, like getting together and enjoying a beer. Or wine if beer is not necessarily your speed. But having that kind of space to sip and have conversation and catch up with somebody that you haven't seen in awhile, or get to know somebody that you haven't ever talked to kind of thing. That's a cool thing about the human experience, being able to share in something that is specific to that moment in time.
[00:12:06]Stu Campbell: [00:12:06] It is, and it's an easy thing for them to. They can label it as having a beer together. You can bring that feeling back the very next time you go and have a beer together, wherever it is.
[00:12:16]DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:12:16] Totally. What would you consider your happy place to be?
[00:12:18]Stu Campbell: [00:12:18] My happy place is the beach at night. I like to go out there by myself and listen to the sound of water and stare at the sky. Go out there and run on the beach. I like to sit from a distance, whether I'm even getting my feet in the sand or not, maybe in a pavilion or something like that, or walk out on Okaloosa Island pier and just see the curvature of the earth as you look at the horizon.
[00:12:44] DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:12:44] One of my favorite things to do, and I haven't done it in a while, is actually run on the Mid Bay Bridge at midnight. I realize is not necessarily the safest thing to do but you feel like you're the only person there at least until a car passes by. Even if it's not on the Mid Bay bridge, my favorite time to run in this area is midnight or around midnight in the summertime. Cause it's still kind of humid, but you have the cool breeze. So it's, really weird to describe you just have to kind of experience it because you're going to be drenched in sweat by the end of the run, just because of how humid it gets in the summertime. But it's just feels so good. With the humidity and then the wind blowing as you're running, there's just something about it.
[00:13:27]Stu Campbell: [00:13:27] I feel that same way. And I've run on the mid Bay bridge in the morning before when there weren't very many cars there. And you're right. Being at the very top of the apex. And I've stopped in the middle of the night before and gotten out of my vehicle and looked at it just in the moment. You're right. It is paradise. And that feeling of the warm summer humid air, that's why I drive with the windows down in my personal vehicle at night, because I just love the way it feels. And that's probably a lot of my draw for being out on that beach at night, also.
[00:13:58]DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:13:58] If you could be anywhere in the world, other than here, where would you be?
[00:14:03]Stu Campbell: [00:14:03] You know, recently I've discovered Kentucky and Tennessee. And I just adore the people up there. I think that the landscape is beautiful, and I would certainly consider that if I ever had to leave this area.
[00:14:16]DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:14:16] Any reason why other than the people, or is it just kind of like the overall overall vibe of those two places?
[00:14:22] Stu Campbell: [00:14:22] The overall vibe, I think, you know, I enjoy the roads. I like the rolling Hills. I like that they still have hot summers. I don't know that I'm ready to deal with anybody else's winter. I think we get as cold as I want to be here. I don't wanna complain about our cold, cause I do like the change of seasons. So you have to have one way for it to swing then the other way, but the South is very friendly, and I think that the people in Tennessee especially are just very welcoming. And I see friends. In a sea of strangers, I see friends when I go up there.
[00:14:54] DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:14:54] Very cool. , as we close out the podcast, is there anything you would like to leave the listeners with before we wrap it up?
[00:15:02] Stu Campbell: [00:15:02] If you are considering booking Destin Tiki Bus, I'm glad to talk to you. And I would encourage you to, if it's at all possible, if you live in the area, or if it's convenient to be here, glad to bring the bus out and let you look at it and let you get on and see exactly what it is we're doing because I'm super proud of it. And the positive response that I've gotten from people that have ridden on it and have hired me to drive them around, I know that I have something good here and I can't wait to show it off.
[00:15:34]DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:15:34] All right. Well, what is the best way for someone to get ahold of you, if they would like to start the conversation in possibly incorporating Destin Tiki Bus into their celebration?
[00:15:46] Stu Campbell: [00:15:46] The best way to reach us, if you're planning an event, is to call ( 850) 533-7154. You're more than welcome to email us at [email protected] We also are destintikibus on Facebook and Instagram. Feel free to message us there or ( 850) 533-7154. If you'd like to text or call.
[00:16:12]DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:16:12] All right, as always, here's to the couples that are planning their weddings and here's to making those weddings and bachelor and bachelorette parties a highlight.