In the last few years, short-term home rental sites like Airbnb and VRBO have become an alternative to hotels for many travelers. Despite the competition, hotels still have an edge, especially in New York City; after all, who really wants to stay in a postage-stamp apartment with the fridge in their living room while on vacation? Only hotels offer a level of dependability, convenience, and service that many tourists and businesspeople demand. Even for these hotel loyalists though, expectations have changed. A bed with twenty pillows and continental breakfast may no longer be enough to ensure a hotel stands out. Guests seek easy access to adventure and even surprise. To this end, some hotels have amassed fleets of bikes for their customers. An even better idea? Offer branded pedicab NYC chauffeur service to guests.
For the past few years Langham Place hotel has enlisted Revolution Rickshaws to provide complimentary rides to their guests on Earth Day via branded cyclecab. This year, an extended “Earth Month” engagement is in the works due to the program’s positive impact with guests. Langham’s PR director Louise O’Brien told Trikurious that the branded cyclecab service has been a great way to demonstrate the hotel’s commitment to the environment as well as to meeting the neighborhood transport needs of its guests. “Its cute and quirky, but it’s also doing something real,” according to O’Brien. She said they get great feedback from their guests—even those who didn’t use the service due to the cab’s strategic placement on site. Its marketing impact derives from the fact that the branded cyclecab stands out, captures people’s attention, and ultimately spreads positive brand awareness. People see the trikes outfitted with the hotel’s branding and often snap photos for social media. Langham has long had a “house car” available to guests. What pedicabs offer is a live-drive transport option that creates memorable experiences for the traveler that they will talk about over and over with friends, business colleagues, and others.
A bit farther uptown, The Mark has begun deploying this type of service full-time. Their cyclecab is displayed prominently at the entrance of the hotel, making it clearly noticeable to both hotel guests and passersby. The hotel’s branding on the trike looks well appointed and indicates a sanctioned, trustworthy transportation option potentially superior to the hotel’s car service, which also is available to guests. Trikurious spoke with Bobby Friese, a cyclecab operator who works a The Mark cyclecab on weekends. He said that while customers can be skeptical at first, once they take the ride they are often amazed at how quick and enjoyable the ride is. Rides typically go to Fifth Avenue shops, cultural destinations, and Midtown office buildings. Guests may arrange longer tours through the concierge. The hotel pays the operators an hourly wage that doesn’t break its bank, ensuring steady pay for the operator plus by tips from happy passengers. The Mark is situated within a string of luxury hotels on the Upper East Side. The house pedicab is a great way for the hotel to stand out and appeal to carbon-conscious clients.