As many people know, Zoom Zoom Bowen was informed in January 2019 that there would no longer be space for us to operate at the same location we have been renting for the past two years (Trunk and Miller Road). Since then, we have been searching high and low to find any possible location which might satisfy both zoning requirements and our own safety standards.
Many supportive business owners and residents have reached out offering different locations from driveways to parking lots. We are grateful for the ongoing support of this community and the enthusiasm for the success of our little business which has evolved significantly over the past three years. Since opening in 2016, we have had over 2000 riders from 31 countries and are proud to call ourselves “Bowen Ambassadors.” We’ve worked diligently to be recognized by Trip Advisor as the number one “thing to do” on Bowen. We are a recognized as a “carbon positive” company (via carbon offsetting) through the support of a reforestation project on Quadra Island.
Over the past three years we have learned a great deal, including what it takes to prepare our riders appropriately to ensure their safety, and that of our own community members. With this as our primary focus while looking at new locations, we have had to consider many factors including the surface of the potential training area, our ability to designate space solely for training, the dry storage of the scooters and gear as well as consideration of pedestrian, ferry and vehicle traffic.
Ultimately, our inability to find a new location has primarily been related to the fact that we live on a small island with a limited commercially zoned area and very few paved spaces on which we can operate. Even within the commercially zoned areas, many do not allow for our type of business (“general services”), meaning that we would require a temporary use permit. This can also take six-to-eight weeks to secure. Ultimately, parking space requirements, a lack of storage space, liability concerns and/or zoning restrictions have emerged as insurmountable obstacles and it appears that we have run out of options.
Sadly, this means that Zoom Zoom close its doors for the 2019 season. We are trying to find a way to honour the gift certificates which were donated to local and regional charity auctions and are deeply appreciative of the many messages of encouragement that we continue to receive.
We are hopeful that Zoom Zoom will find its feet again on Bowen at some point and that we can continue to offer what we believe to be a valuable service for the island. We thank all of you for making it possible for our “lil red scooters” to bring visitors from every corner the planet to meet our welcoming community, support our local businesses and explore our stunningly idyllic little piece of paradise in an ethical and adventurous way.
— Jamie Woodall