Put yourself in these shoes: It’s the tail end of a major holiday weekend. You’ve got out-of-town guests, and the seemingly endless river of alcohol has been flowing since Thursday evening. While firing up the grill, it hits you—you forgot to run that pressing errand. In a panic, you ditch your guests and get the deed done with just minutes to spare. If only there was a service—maybe an app—that could have taken care of this for you.
We’ve all been there. Luckily, there actually is an app for that. “Urban PALM is basically the assistant’s assistant. We can take on any request or run any errand at any time,” says Kalika Moquin, Las Vegas local and co-creator of Urban PALM (Personal Assistance Life Management).
When it comes to nightlife, Moquin has done it all—from managing talent to marketing. As she progressed in her career, her free time dwindled, leaving less family time for the mother of two. This laid the foundation for Urban PALM. Since launching in Las Vegas in September, the nightlife and hospitality veteran’s app/website has attracted more than 400 clients and even more downloads. The idea stemmed from sort of a “hangover hotline.”
“We had this idea to bring soup and Pedialyte to those who were hungover after a long night of partying on the weekends,” Urban PALM co-creator and business manager Jennifer Tramaglino says. “But we thought, “Why stop at people who are hungover? Why not make these services available to everyone, for everything?”
Here’s how it works: Clients reveal their locations and submit requests through Urban PALM’s website or app. From there, personal assistants known as PALMs are notified within seconds, and tasks are completed as needed. Typical errands include picking up dry cleaning, waiting in line at the DMV and booking travel reservations. It doesn’t stop there, though. Urban PALM offers remote services such as creating spreadsheets for contacts, processing electronic invoices and party planning.
“One time, we got a request from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, to plan a barbecue, and we totally did it,” Moquin says.
All of these tasks are carried out by experienced PALMs who, like Uber drivers, are “fully vetted,” and who go through a rigorous training process. The fee for the service is a flat rate of $20 per hour, and, like Costco, you can save if you buy in bulk. Services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
The idea for Urban PALM might sound similar to other on-demand, app-based services, but Moquin argues it’s a different concept. “We’re not Uber, we’re not Postmates, but we can certainly help you make arrangements for those services. Think of it as the Uber for everything else.” The difference can be seen in the nature of some of the requests—they’re not all office-related, especially in a town with a sprawling nightlife industry. “We like to keep our list of clients confidential, but we may or may not have gotten a request to deliver ping pong balls to a big-name DJ’s party at 3 a.m., because he wanted to play beer pong,” Moquin says.
Tramaglino says the service comes in handy for busy weekends—especially holidays and major events, such as the recent Life Is Beautiful festival. She utilized the service, as well. “I tried calling for a limo, but it was so busy—nobody was available.
I ‘PALMed’ somebody, and [he/she] was able to get me a limo near me, and for even cheaper than what the other guys were asking. It really comes in handy for big things like that.” Moquin and Tramaglino are already preparing for what they expect to be a very busy Halloween weekend. “We’re here in case anybody needs an emergency candy refill—just PALM it!”
As for the more distant future, the women have ambitious plans for Urban PALM. “Our goal over the next few months is to examine the market [via the requests], find out what it needs and tailor services to fit those needs. [Eventually], we’d like to take Urban PALM worldwide,” Tramaglino says.
The duo says that most of their clients are the elderly, the disabled and other busy moms. Moquin, who gave birth to her second child in September, says she uses the services now more than ever. “Urban PALM is actually Urban PALM’s biggest client. I used it a bunch after I gave birth,” she says. “Mostly to deliver coffee.”