This legfal action is best understood with some background.
When Alcatraz Media added a toll-free number in 2001, the phone started “ringing off the hook.” Much to my son’s chagrin, the callers were not interested in Internet services; they wanted tickets to Alcatraz. There apparently were no companies named Alcatraz listed with directory assistance in San Francisco, because Ryan was told that when people called directory assistance for a number for “Alcatraz,” the operators would apparently say the only listing they had was a toll-free number for “Alcatraz Media.” Many would then call the toll-free number to reach my son.
My son was the only employee, and every incoming call rang to his cell phone. After many days telling people that Alcatraz Media offered email service, web hosting, and web design, and didn’t sell Alcatraz tickets, and after many hundreds of dollars in toll-free telephone bills, my son seriously considered changing the company’s name. The other option was to begin to sell Alcatraz tours. This was a joke when first discussed, but after getting the toll-free telephone bill and realizing how many calls he was getting, my son thought it might make sense to try to capitalize on this accident. So, he began selling tours to Alcatraz Penitentiary in San Francisco in 2001.
Soon after launching the Alcatraz/San Francisco website late in 2001, my sonan felt it would be wise to diversify so Alcatraz Media would not be totally dependent upon one market. Tours and activities were added in Hollywood, Los Angeles, San Diego, Seattle, Orlando, and a few other markets in 2003.
The Company was largely a two-person operation (a computer person and my son) until the summer of 2003. Alcatraz opened its first real office in April 2004 when the first employees were hired. Prior to that time, the business was a virtual company with a few independent contract workers scattered around the country.
From September 2003 through March 2004, the business operated with a telephone system installed in our garage in Atlanta Georgia. My wife and brother handled the calls. A small office was finally opened in Norcross Georgia in April 2004. Alcatraz moved to a larger space less than a year later. Atlanta was chosen because family was here to help, and the cost of an office and staff in San Francisco was cost-prohibitive for a business such as this that works on a very small net profit margin.
A major expansion was undertaken in 2004 and 2005. By the close of 2005, Alcatraz had achieved most of its North American territorial expansion goals with operations in 215 cities in all 50 states and most of the Canadian provinces.
Total revenues for the business were less than $60,000 in 2001 but grew to tens of millions of dollars by 2008.