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MclearyCycles
14-02-2006, 12:41 AM
Bike hire is an extremely good market to get into. Generally the people that do it run bike shops or pure hire companies in popular tourist locations, welsh mountains etc. Hotels etc don't seem to have cottoned on to the money that this generates so in the next month or two I'm gonna start approaching the hotels in Edinburgh and try and get them roped into it for the summer season. Reasons to go through me.

1. Nobody will give a hotel an account.

2. The price of maintenance is very low because it'll be repeat bookings and fleet services, parts will be low priced also and the labour charges will be discounted also.

3. Professional service anytime on the premises meaning quick repair turn around and needing to have less standby bikes therefore keeping initial costs down.

4. If a hotel does it themselves by going to tesco etc for a cheap bike they'll screw the build up,the bike'll fall to peices in a week and very slick lawyers will be knocking the door with hefty lawsuits. Buying a cheap bike may sound okay but setting it up properly is hard. I'm a pro and even I have real problems setting these "iron donkeys" up because the quality is so low. Buying a more expensive bike costs more initially but it'll pay for its self in 2 weeks.

Any thoughts?

Anglo-Sino
14-02-2006, 08:15 AM
Sounds good and as with anything....so long as you have the appropriate insurance! Have you looked at contacting the holiday villages like Centre parcs? I realise they will be getting a similar service done already but companies get complacent so their may be room for healthy competition. The good thing is they are year round.

ii3mhz
14-02-2006, 09:41 AM
have you thought about maybe they dont want to do it? Im sure its crossed their minds before.

protoolkits
14-02-2006, 11:45 AM
I think its a great idea. I used to travel a lot with my job and would often be stuck in a hotel and being able to hire a bike would have been great.

Also when on holiday its definitely something I would look at. Of course it all depends on teh location and context but I would imagine theres demand for it.

As for getting hotels interested how about offering a trial period so that they can assess demand from their guests (you could make up some cheap flyers) and also it would give you some more accurate market research.

Good luck with it
Cheers

Lee

protoolkits
14-02-2006, 12:07 PM
Justr another thought, have you looked at sharing the financial risk with the hotels.

For example, they pay for only half the cost of the bikes but they also only get half of all revenue. If they want to pay for the whole bike then they get a greater share. If they don't want to pay at all then maybe they get a really small share (if that would still be viable for you).

Also it would be great if you had a scheme where you could pick up a bike in one hotel and leave it in another. (I think they do something similar to this is Amsterdam). You could back this up with some strong branding (E.g. Illuminous green bikes) which would also start to creat buzz and recognisition in the local market.

Also I can imagine that there are a lot on non-hotel residents who often would need a bike for a day / afternoon etc.

MclearyCycles
14-02-2006, 06:07 PM
They probably have looked at it before, thought the price of the bike,accessories and mechanics time was extortionate and said no. The aim isn't to make money for myself from hire, the hotel gets all that money, all i get is the price of the bike and the contract to maintain them. And a 100 quid bike retails at about 200 depending on quality. Have looked at hire facilities in edinburgh and to be honest, its ****. The market for it is huge but nobodies took advantage of it. As for insurance,that will be the hotels responsability, all I need to be insured for is the work so that if someone gets a handlebar in their head I'm covered. The hotel needs the rest as they are the hire centre. Centerparc has been done and I'm not going to try and get a contract that size on an established patch of ground but if another place like it pops up I'll give it a bash.

ACN
15-02-2006, 09:57 AM
Have you thought about electric bikes? I am sure that a lot of people visiting hotels would like to get out and about but are:
a) unfit
b) too 'old' for the effort of a normal bike
c) lazy - although would like to get given the option.

You then have the families who may want to get out but have small children. Trailers, tag alongs etc.

Andrew

MclearyCycles
15-02-2006, 02:53 PM
Yep I have thought about it but E-Bikes come with a crate full of unique problems plus they cost a hell of a lot more than a pedal bike. If the hotel wanted them then I'd be happy to supply but knowing profit driven companies, they'll want the cheapest they can get which means they'll get stuck with some cheap and nasty Chinese creation. They're heavy,ugly, a pain to keep running and fix and you can't take em of road unless you get one of the Chinese numbers which won't actually go near an off road track without crumbling to a heap of scrap metel. Keep it simple and low cost to start and then maybe introduce an E-Bike or two at a later stage to cater for the less mobile client but I can't see the golden girls riding bikes round edinburgh, far more relaxing to take a coach trip or a guided tour or gentle walk. Although sticking a few old timers in a rickshaw with they're own pilot/guide could be a goer.