- Associated Press - Thursday, December 25, 2014

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Limousine and airplane tours of Christmas lights displays are becoming more popular in North Dakota.

At least three companies offering tours in the Bismarck-Mandan area have seen an increase in business over the past few years, the Bismarck Tribune (http://bit.ly/1xhG2ky ) reported. One of the companies has increased its vehicle fleet to accommodate holiday enthusiasts, while another one says it has seen a tenfold increase in flights.

Nightlife Limousine is among the companies seeing an increase in business thanks to the holiday tours. The company began its seasonal tour in 1992 with one six-passenger limo doing four trips a night. Last year, the company saw its largest number of bookings at 150 tours and is now using 20 vehicles.

Nightlife owner Rick Berge said he thinks the reason tours have become more popular is the new technological aspect of light displays.

“You’ve got a block long of lights and they’re all programmed to music in great detail,” he said. “The lights have never been better.”

Aerial tours cropped up over the past five years. Executive Air Taxi Corporation and Bismarck Aero Center offer the service and each tour lasts about 30 minutes.

Executive Air CEO Paul Vetter said the first year the company offered seasonal the seasonal tours about 10 flights took off. This year, however, he expects at least 100 flights.

“This is something that’s very unique, very personal,” Vetter said. “For most people, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime event.”

Bismarck Aero Center marketing specialist Shae Helling said the company has seen business increase from a few people to about 60. Helling said the tours are popular among families, but also for date nights and even proposals.

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Information from: Bismarck Tribune, http://www.bismarcktribune.com

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