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.