They say “two heads are better than one,” so I am hoping that an entire community can help me find a solution to my current problem.
As many know, I have been operating my scooter rental business, Zoom Zoom Bowen, from the corner lot at Trunk and Miller Road. Unfortunately, we will no longer be able to operate there and are now needing to find a new location that is safe, accessible and meets zoning requirements.
In 2016, we successfully amended Bowen’s Land Use Bylaw, enabling Zoom Zoom to open. We felt that scooter rentals would solve a transportation issue for Bowen visitors, reduce the number of cars in the summer and increase access to local businesses. Indeed, since opening, we have had 2,032 riders from the US, Canada and 29 other countries. We aim to serve as Bowen ambassadors and are now recommended on Trip Advisor as the number one “Thing to Do” on Bowen. And for the past two years, we have been recognized as a “carbon positive” company through carbon offsetting, which means that by renting a scooter, our riders are doing more good than harm when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions.
And we’ve had incredible community support. The Kabantsov family kindly donated use of the pre-distillery lot for our first season. And at the “Crossroads,” we’ve had many thoughtful folks drop by on hot days with ice cold drinks, flowers, books and great conversations to share.
We aim to give back to our local and regional communities with donations for fundraisers. Most recently, I’ve had the privilege of mentoring a woman from Haida Gwaii, who earned funding to start her own scooter rental business through the Aboriginal Canadian Entrepreneurs (ACE) program. How wonderful to be able to help her bypass so much of what we learned by trial and error!
Zoom Zoom opens April 15 and we hope to employ a Bowen resident (or two) to work with us. But first, we need a new location. We’re still exploring possibilities and are hoping the community might also have some ideas. Several kind business owners have offered either temporary or more permanent spots, however nothing yet feels quite right from a safety perspective. Our needs? A designated space (ideally paved) to do our orientation, safety briefing and proficiency test and dry storage for the scooters would be very helpful.
We are hopeful that Bowen still has space somewhere for Zoom Zoom and that we can continue to offer this service to those who choose to visit our beautiful isle.
Ideas? Please email: email@example.com.