Hotels Increasingly Offering Bicycle-Lending Programs

by Glenn Hasek May 08, 2013 04:51

Is your lodging establishment bicycle-friendly? For your employees as well as your guests? Over the past year I have learned about many hotels that offer bike racks for employees, bike racks and bicycle-lending programs for guests, and, in some cases, even showers for employees who bicycle to work. For example, the 120-suite TownePlace Suites by Marriott, Frederick, Md., which opened last fall, offers a fleet of bicycles for guest use and the 221-room Hampton Inn & Suites Miami Brickell-Downtown, which opened in 2011, offers bicycle racks, showers and changing facilities for employees who bike and walk to work. Those offering bicycle-friendly hotels are smart. An increasing number of people bicycle to work and increasingly health-conscious travelers seek out two wheels instead of four when wanting to tour around a city. Green Lodging News has run a couple of articles about bicycle-lending programs in the past. (Click here and here.)

Yesterday I had a chance to chat with Timothy Ericson, CEO and co-founder of Zagster, a company that sets up bicycle-lending programs at hotels and resorts. He told me that lodging establishments are increasingly offering bicycles as an amenity and eventually it will become a standard—especially at urban hotels.

Running a bicycle-lending program comes with its challenges. Tim told me that some hotel managers have underestimated what it takes to run such a program. That is why his company has come up with a business model that relieves hoteliers of most of the administration work involved as well as the maintenance. I will be writing about Zagster in an upcoming article for Green Lodging News. Be sure to watch for it.

Tim told me some hotels are using bicycle-lending as part of promotions and some hotels are making money from the service. Have you tried a bicycle-lending program? What challenges did you face? What successes have you had? Are you thinking about starting a program but hesitant to do so? I would love to hear from you. Please be sure to leave your comments here.

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Comments

5/10/2013 5:27:26 AM #

I myself have noticed numerous hotels in Tampa offering bicycles to guest as an option to taking cabs. Obviously nice weather makes a difference in offering this service and a means to getting around on your own. On the topic of showers - yes many companies both big and small offer shower/changing rooms to runners, cyclists and walkers who travel by alternate means than a car.

marc

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About Me

Glenn Hasek is the publisher and editor of Green Lodging News. He has more than 20 years of experience writing about the lodging industry. He can be reached at editor@greenlodgingnews.com or by phone at (813) 510-3868.