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Business Observer Friday, Jan. 3, 2020 3 weeks ago

Royal ride: Authentic London taxi comes to Naples

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A Naples resort is bringing a little bit of Britain to Southwest Florida.

A Naples resort is bringing a little bit of Britain to Southwest Florida.

The Naples Bay Resort recently bought an authentic London taxi, which it plans to use exclusively for hotel guest transportation. Manufactured in England in 2004 by London Taxis International, the hotel paid about $20,000 for the vehicle.

“We were looking for something different, quirky and memorable to offer our guests,” Naples Bay Resort Director of Sales and Marketing Paul Ditheridge says in a statement. “The idea was inspired by the fact that both the general manager, John Reilly, and I are British, and we are very familiar with London taxis. We thought it would fit the bill and provide guests with a unique and long-lasting memory of being transported in a London cab in Southwest Florida.”

One of 275 TXII models, the taxi was exclusively made and customized for the U.S. market — including the steering wheel on the left. It was designed with modern technology, the release adds, including a Ford Diesel engine. The London taxi was actually used as an actual cab in 2004, until it was sold by LTI to a private owner in Virginia.

The 87-rooom Naples Bay Resort, on the east end of 5th Avenue South, will use the taxi to chauffeur guests to Downtown Naples for dinner and other activities in the area. The taxi, which seats five people and has ADA wheel chair ramp, was vinyl wrapped in Naples Bay Resort blue.

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