SHERIDAN — An upstart business in Sheridan plans to utilize the city’s walking paths to conduct tours on small electric personal transporters. Out West Segway Tours has occupied the building on Main Street that used to house the Davis Gallery.
A Segway Personal Transporter is a platform on two wheels upon which a person balances while holding on to upward extending handlebars. The unit features a small electric motor capable of transporting a person as fast as 12 mph and is used at tourist destinations around the nation to allow sightseers to traverse long distances without expending the energy it would take to walk.
The man behind the new tours is Jim Linden, who splits his time between Sheridan and his hometown of Holton, Wisconsin. His son, Aaron Linden, works at Hub International, and Linden frequents Sheridan to spend time with his six grandchildren.
“It seemed like a natural fit with the beautiful pathway system,” Linden said. “We’ve spent a considerable amount of time with tour operators in Denver and Boulder (Colorado) and we have learned a great deal about what they’re doing.”
“This will give people the opportunity to experience a Segway. Also, a lot of people typically might not be able to walk 7 miles to experience the pathway system, so this will be a fun thing to do,” Linden added.
While there are a few planned route options for tours, the long version begins on Main Street.
From there, patrons will meet up with their tour guide, or Trail Boss, and pick one of six transport systems out of a Westernized stall. After a short orientation on how to operate the ride, tour members will walk the Segway to the street and begin a loop that includes a tour of Whitney Commons, Kendrick Park, Kendrick Mansion, the wildlife pasture, Mavrakis Pond, the Sheridan Inn and Sheltered Acres Park.
Linden plans to offer three daily tours, Tuesday through Sunday to eligible Segway riders, which are those older than 14 years of age and less than 260 pounds. Each tour lasts approximately two hours.
Linden plans to have an open house on May 31 and open for business June 3. From there, he hopes to offer tours each year, as weather permits, between May and October.
Linden is planning a grand opening next Saturday, and invites the public to stop by his new business to try out a Segway and see the remodeled building. Tours start June 3 and cost $75.
“I’m really looking forward to people being able to come in and see what it’s all about,” Linden said.