Do you rent bikes or kayaks?

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Baygirl

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We were thinking of offering bikes and/or kayaks as another way to generate some income. Do any of you offer this type of service? Pros/Cons......
I'm checking with our insurance company now to see what kind of coverage we would need and if the added expense would make it still worth doing.
 

toddburme

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I just read on here that the insurance hike made bike rental a bad idea.
 

Baygirl

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Unfortunately we don't have a place that rents bikes in our area, which is to bad because this is such a great area for biking. Kayaks yes, but it's not close to our location. I've heard insurance can be steep so I'm anxious to hear what kind of quote we get back from our insurance company.
 

Samster

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We have a bike shop within walking distance and used to have a canoe/kayak outfitter on the river, so I referred folks there. The local bike shop has insurance, maintains their rentals, and has a wide variety. Do you have anything like that near you that you could package? I didn't have the time to get into renting bikes although we've had plenty of people bring their own bikes here. I know there are some B&Bs that offer free bikes as an amenity & have guests sign waivers.
 

Morticia

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I think it's a great idea in the right location. You will definitely need to hear what the insurance has to say. Above all, you must provide all the safety gear the guest will need, even if they do not use it. (Helmets, life vests, that sort of thing.)
 

Morticia

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Unfortunately we don't have a place that rents bikes in our area, which is to bad because this is such a great area for biking. Kayaks yes, but it's not close to our location. I've heard insurance can be steep so I'm anxious to hear what kind of quote we get back from our insurance company..
We have approached our insurance about things like this and their take on it was, 'If it's an appropriate B&B activity, we have no problem with it.' (And no rise in premiums.) If we offered skydiving, a whole other kettle of fish.
 

seashanty

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so many innkeepers get this idea ... and get thwarted by insurance and liability issues.
(sigh) i remember staying at a place as a child where you could borrow a bike or a canoe. if you fell off the bike or tipped the boat, it was your own problem and nobody sued anybody.
i can't help you with the kayak idea because we had a kayak tour and rental place across the road to partner with.
but i DID have bike tours come and stay. YES they took over the place, but they were a nice group (once i understood their needs) and we were up to four times a season when i left. nice to have that solid booking in place.
depending on where you are, look up bike tours and see if you can partner with them. also, ENCOURAGE your guests to bring their own equipment. i did have guests stay who brought bikes, canoes, kayaks and hiking gear. keep in mind, there are those serious bicyclists with $5 thousand and $10 thousand dollar bikes who will demand secure storage .. there is an old post here about providing shelter for bikes. so you have to be clear about that.
good luck!
 

Baygirl

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I think it's a great idea in the right location. You will definitely need to hear what the insurance has to say. Above all, you must provide all the safety gear the guest will need, even if they do not use it. (Helmets, life vests, that sort of thing.).
Yes I realize it there will be an expense in the beginning with the equipment. We were just trying to think of things to generate a little more income without getting a 3rd party involved and something that wouldn't add alot more work for us. (I'm sure you guys can understand that)

 

JBloggs

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Do you have these already? How much could rent them out for to make it worth your while? How do people transport them? (ie are you close to a lake/river). Kayaks are not easy to transport - we have two and I can;t imagine letting anyone take them - unless we were waterfront and they just dragged them over to the water.
A group took some kids to our local lake that has a swimming beach with licensed lifeguards and a little boy 13 drowned, the state park is being sued, the lake beach sued, the lifeguards themselves sued, the adults in the group sued and the leaders of this group sued - everyone is being sued. He drowned right in plain sight, kids are jumping and screaming - he went under without a scream at all and died.
Just bringing that up as it was in the news of late.
 

Morticia

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Do you have these already? How much could rent them out for to make it worth your while? How do people transport them? (ie are you close to a lake/river). Kayaks are not easy to transport - we have two and I can;t imagine letting anyone take them - unless we were waterfront and they just dragged them over to the water.
A group took some kids to our local lake that has a swimming beach with licensed lifeguards and a little boy 13 drowned, the state park is being sued, the lake beach sued, the lifeguards themselves sued, the adults in the group sued and the leaders of this group sued - everyone is being sued. He drowned right in plain sight, kids are jumping and screaming - he went under without a scream at all and died.
Just bringing that up as it was in the news of late..
I agree with the waterfront location for the kayaks. Not many guests who would want to 'try' this have the roof racks or the know how to load them up.
 

JBloggs

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Unfortunately we don't have a place that rents bikes in our area, which is to bad because this is such a great area for biking. Kayaks yes, but it's not close to our location. I've heard insurance can be steep so I'm anxious to hear what kind of quote we get back from our insurance company..
We have approached our insurance about things like this and their take on it was, 'If it's an appropriate B&B activity, we have no problem with it.' (And no rise in premiums.) If we offered skydiving, a whole other kettle of fish.
.
Morticia said:
We have approached our insurance about things like this and their take on it was, 'If it's an appropriate B&B activity, we have no problem with it.' (And no rise in premiums.) If we offered skydiving, a whole other kettle of fish.
Okay I will have to call you out on your little exaggeration. Skydiving? ha ha Listen, if you go skydiving or scuba diving your own insurance can be nil and void as well! Don't even say wreck diving they will try to cancel you. People don't realize that. You will become high risk.
 

Baygirl

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We do already get biking groups that come through. They are great and you're right, once you figure out their needs they get even easier. We're right off a major bike route so it works out well. Guests bring their own bikes and kayaks and we have a garage they can put them in when their equipment isn't in use.
 

Baygirl

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Do you have these already? How much could rent them out for to make it worth your while? How do people transport them? (ie are you close to a lake/river). Kayaks are not easy to transport - we have two and I can;t imagine letting anyone take them - unless we were waterfront and they just dragged them over to the water.
A group took some kids to our local lake that has a swimming beach with licensed lifeguards and a little boy 13 drowned, the state park is being sued, the lake beach sued, the lifeguards themselves sued, the adults in the group sued and the leaders of this group sued - everyone is being sued. He drowned right in plain sight, kids are jumping and screaming - he went under without a scream at all and died.
Just bringing that up as it was in the news of late..
We do have bikes and kayaks of our own.. The lake is 1/4 mile away and we would take them down for the guests and pick them up when they were ready. I agree our country is so sue happy it really is discouraging. Rental would be about the cost of what one of the local company is getting, haven't gotten that far yet on what we would charge. Will do some price comparisons if we get to that point.
 

Morticia

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Unfortunately we don't have a place that rents bikes in our area, which is to bad because this is such a great area for biking. Kayaks yes, but it's not close to our location. I've heard insurance can be steep so I'm anxious to hear what kind of quote we get back from our insurance company..
We have approached our insurance about things like this and their take on it was, 'If it's an appropriate B&B activity, we have no problem with it.' (And no rise in premiums.) If we offered skydiving, a whole other kettle of fish.
.
Morticia said:
We have approached our insurance about things like this and their take on it was, 'If it's an appropriate B&B activity, we have no problem with it.' (And no rise in premiums.) If we offered skydiving, a whole other kettle of fish.
Okay I will have to call you out on your little exaggeration. Skydiving? ha ha Listen, if you go skydiving or scuba diving your own insurance can be nil and void as well! Don't even say wreck diving they will try to cancel you. People don't realize that. You will become high risk.
.
Joey Bloggs said:
Morticia said:
We have approached our insurance about things like this and their take on it was, 'If it's an appropriate B&B activity, we have no problem with it.' (And no rise in premiums.) If we offered skydiving, a whole other kettle of fish.
Okay I will have to call you out on your little exaggeration. Skydiving? ha ha Listen, if you go skydiving or scuba diving your own insurance can be nil and void as well! Don't even say wreck diving they will try to cancel you. People don't realize that. You will become high risk.
Meant as an exaggeration! It's a line item on every insurance policy I've ever had. That and motorcycling. The point was that our inn insurance is very biz friendly in allowing us to do what is considered 'normal' B&B business. They understand that 'tourism' and vacations involve things like bicycles, water activities of the non-motorized version, packages with other businesses that invlove guests doing tourist-y things, etc. They don't try to penalize us for conducting business.
 

JBloggs

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Do you have these already? How much could rent them out for to make it worth your while? How do people transport them? (ie are you close to a lake/river). Kayaks are not easy to transport - we have two and I can;t imagine letting anyone take them - unless we were waterfront and they just dragged them over to the water.
A group took some kids to our local lake that has a swimming beach with licensed lifeguards and a little boy 13 drowned, the state park is being sued, the lake beach sued, the lifeguards themselves sued, the adults in the group sued and the leaders of this group sued - everyone is being sued. He drowned right in plain sight, kids are jumping and screaming - he went under without a scream at all and died.
Just bringing that up as it was in the news of late..
We do have bikes and kayaks of our own.. The lake is 1/4 mile away and we would take them down for the guests and pick them up when they were ready. I agree our country is so sue happy it really is discouraging. Rental would be about the cost of what one of the local company is getting, haven't gotten that far yet on what we would charge. Will do some price comparisons if we get to that point.
.
Okay, so you have the kayaks, paddles and life vests.
I would rent them if I stayed with you.
 

gillumhouse

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I am 50 feet from a rail-trail. Most of my guests bring their own bikes.
A bike shop owner (I bought my bike from her) who was on another rail-trail and rented bikes told me the insurance would eat me up. I havemy bike and the bike of a friend in my shed and helmets for the use of my guests - I do not rent them but suggest a donation to the Lord's Pantry Food Bank for the use of the bikes. If the bike is in the shed or in the yard andthe guest decides to use it... Will it protect me from being sued? NO, but it will show I was not charging for the use of the bikes. They just took them and used them. I am not near a kayak put-in but I do not think I would do it - again because of insurance (and I do not already have them either).
 

Breakfast Diva

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I wanted to do the same thing. My insurance company said "no way". We discussed having the guest sign a waiver and my company said they weren't worth the paper they're written on. They also told me that even for bikes I would have to do a 15 minute safety course and provide helmets and elbow/knee pads.
Ridiculous!
 

Samster

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Do you have these already? How much could rent them out for to make it worth your while? How do people transport them? (ie are you close to a lake/river). Kayaks are not easy to transport - we have two and I can;t imagine letting anyone take them - unless we were waterfront and they just dragged them over to the water.
A group took some kids to our local lake that has a swimming beach with licensed lifeguards and a little boy 13 drowned, the state park is being sued, the lake beach sued, the lifeguards themselves sued, the adults in the group sued and the leaders of this group sued - everyone is being sued. He drowned right in plain sight, kids are jumping and screaming - he went under without a scream at all and died.
Just bringing that up as it was in the news of late..
We do have bikes and kayaks of our own.. The lake is 1/4 mile away and we would take them down for the guests and pick them up when they were ready. I agree our country is so sue happy it really is discouraging. Rental would be about the cost of what one of the local company is getting, haven't gotten that far yet on what we would charge. Will do some price comparisons if we get to that point.
.
I would encourage people to bring their own bikes and water gear and promote that you have a place to store them. Blog about the lake and promote that. Are you able to offer picnic lunches as an add-on? You could put together a route and package that. Those are things that I'd do to get more people in as opposed to investing in equipment and worrying about additional liability. Just my 2 cents.......
 

Breakfast Diva

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Do you have these already? How much could rent them out for to make it worth your while? How do people transport them? (ie are you close to a lake/river). Kayaks are not easy to transport - we have two and I can;t imagine letting anyone take them - unless we were waterfront and they just dragged them over to the water.
A group took some kids to our local lake that has a swimming beach with licensed lifeguards and a little boy 13 drowned, the state park is being sued, the lake beach sued, the lifeguards themselves sued, the adults in the group sued and the leaders of this group sued - everyone is being sued. He drowned right in plain sight, kids are jumping and screaming - he went under without a scream at all and died.
Just bringing that up as it was in the news of late..
We do have bikes and kayaks of our own.. The lake is 1/4 mile away and we would take them down for the guests and pick them up when they were ready. I agree our country is so sue happy it really is discouraging. Rental would be about the cost of what one of the local company is getting, haven't gotten that far yet on what we would charge. Will do some price comparisons if we get to that point.
.
I would encourage people to bring their own bikes and water gear and promote that you have a place to store them. Blog about the lake and promote that. Are you able to offer picnic lunches as an add-on? You could put together a route and package that. Those are things that I'd do to get more people in as opposed to investing in equipment and worrying about additional liability. Just my 2 cents.......
.
Samster said:
I would encourage people to bring their own bikes and water gear and promote that you have a place to store them. Blog about the lake and promote that. Are you able to offer picnic lunches as an add-on? You could put together a route and package that. Those are things that I'd do to get more people in as opposed to investing in equipment and worrying about additional liability. Just my 2 cents.......
Ditto
 

Morticia

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Do you have these already? How much could rent them out for to make it worth your while? How do people transport them? (ie are you close to a lake/river). Kayaks are not easy to transport - we have two and I can;t imagine letting anyone take them - unless we were waterfront and they just dragged them over to the water.
A group took some kids to our local lake that has a swimming beach with licensed lifeguards and a little boy 13 drowned, the state park is being sued, the lake beach sued, the lifeguards themselves sued, the adults in the group sued and the leaders of this group sued - everyone is being sued. He drowned right in plain sight, kids are jumping and screaming - he went under without a scream at all and died.
Just bringing that up as it was in the news of late..
We do have bikes and kayaks of our own.. The lake is 1/4 mile away and we would take them down for the guests and pick them up when they were ready. I agree our country is so sue happy it really is discouraging. Rental would be about the cost of what one of the local company is getting, haven't gotten that far yet on what we would charge. Will do some price comparisons if we get to that point.
.
I would encourage people to bring their own bikes and water gear and promote that you have a place to store them. Blog about the lake and promote that. Are you able to offer picnic lunches as an add-on? You could put together a route and package that. Those are things that I'd do to get more people in as opposed to investing in equipment and worrying about additional liability. Just my 2 cents.......
.
There is also the additional liability in preparing meals other than breakfast that guests will take with them and store who knows how. You know me, I could worry the day away with scenarios of what guests could possibly do that they could then choose to sue me for!

 
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