Provider makes day at beach possible
ORMOND BEACH, Fla. – While beach-ready wheelchairs have been around for decades, Greg McNair, owner of Beach Mobility Rentals, says he’s putting a new spin on them.
“People are used to seeing beach chairs made of PVC pipe,” he said. “They’re clunky, hard to push and you’re always going to need an attendant, as opposed to my electric chairs which are independently operated.”
Launched in November, Beach Mobility Rentals offers powered all-terrain wheelchairs, designed to navigate Daytona Beach’s hard-packed sand with ease, and non-power wheelchairs, which are safe to get wet. Prices for the rentals range between $50-89 per day for powered chairs and $39-49 per day for non-powered chairs.
Due to Florida’s growing elderly population (persons 65 years and older made up 23% of the population of Volusia County in 2014, according to the United States Census Bureau), McNair says the majority of his renters are seniors.
“The power chairs are far more popular,” said McNair. “People want their independence. They don’t want to have to rely on someone else.”
Additionally, Florida’s year-round warm weather makes it one of the top tourist destinations in the United States, which is why McNair linked up with hotels to get the word out about his services.
“What happens is, someone calls the hotel and says, ‘I want to book an ADA room,’ and they say, ‘Great,’ and that’s usually where they stop,” said McNair. “When I met with the hotels, I explained to them that they have an opportunity to enhance someone’s stay in Daytona Beach in a way that no one’s ever done before.”
Going forward, McNair is open to the idea of opening syndicate offices, but not franchises, which cost an “exorbitant amount of money” for the franchisee and “come with a lot tax consequences,” he says.
“Instead, I’ll get a percentage of their annual sales and they get to piggyback off all my marketing,” he said. “The advantage to that is, it becomes a brand and that’s what I’m trying to establish—a consistent and reliable brand that people can find anywhere in the country.”