High Five Pedal Tours will focus on experiential activities in Ann Arbor, Michigan
Dave Cicotte is looking to take what he’s learned about experiential travel to the streets of Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Cicotte, who previously served as marketing communications and social media associate for Conlin Travel, is aiming to give the traditional pedal/beer tours an interesting spin with his new High Five Pedal Tours.
While most bike-and-drink tours include drinking from point A to point B, Cicotte’s High Five Pedal Tours aims to make alcohol just one part of the attraction, but not the main event.
|Dave Cicotte, owner of High Five Pedal Tours|
High Five Pedal Tours is a local tour company that offers guests the chance to experience Ann Arbor via an 18-person commercial quadricycle, which is also referred to as a Pedal Trolley. Tours include progressive restaurant tours, bookstore tours, brewery and brewpub tours, art tours and more. There is also an option to add entertainment to tours, which includes comedians, improv actors, magicians, musicians, and local tour guides and historians.
“I think all anyone has been hearing is how experiential travel is so hot and so in demand, mainly among Millennials,” he says. “When people think of Millennials, they usually think we are all super young and never want to spend money. That isn’t true. We just want to spend money on something we’ve never done before, something new, something different.”
Whereas brewery and wine tours on bikes have been done before, Cicotte is looking to spice up the experiential portion of his company by offering such tours as visiting historic bookstores in Ann Arbor. A lot of the bookstores do signing and reading events at night. The plan would call for perhaps spending 20 minutes at a bookstore followed by a stop at a wine bar before experiencing a reading and signing at another bookstore later in the evening.
On the bikes will be various forms of unique entertainment. Cicotte says he has already secured the service of some local musicians who will perform live music on the bikes and is also looking to hire some magicians to perform magic tricks as clients are pedaling. He has also targeted tour guides and improv actors.
Cicotte says he came up with the idea during a trip to visit his brother-in-laws in Oregon
“My enthusiasm comes from looking for something different and fun for friends to do on a night out aside from the usual stuff,” he says. “I want to show people a good time, but also want to introduce people to new things. I want them to feel educated.”
Cicotte says he also hopes to work with the University of Michigan to do walking tours of the campus since biking there is very difficult. He is not looking to target students however as Cicotte says he would like instead conduct walking tours mainly for the visiting parents of students.
|High Five Pedal Tours will use 18-person, battery assisted quadricycles|
Cicotte says the main difference between his company and other bike/wine/beer tours is that there is no actual drinking while clients are pedaling on High Five Pedal Tours. Instead, clients bike to various historical, drinking locations and indulge once they get there, but there is no drinking on the bike. You drink at the pub and not on the bike. And to make sure his clients are receiving accurate knowledge, Cicotte has met with local Ann Arbor historian David Bardallis.
“For me, it was important not to just go to place to place and get some drinks,” says Cicotte. “I want my clients to truly experience the city of Ann Arbor. Let's not just grab drinks, but let’s talk to the owner, let's learn about the establishment, learn about the city.
The bikes are 18-person, battery assisted quadricycles (name given by Michigan legislature). They are produced in the Netherlands by a company called Fietscafe (Bicycle Cafe). It seats 14 (seven on each) on the sides where 12 people pedal, three on a bench in the rear of the bike, and one in the center. The center will be the area where the entertainment (comedians, improv actors, magicians, musicians, and tour guides) will work.
Prices for these tours will range from $350 and $400, Cicotte says, and will depend on the day of the week and the time of day. Anyone looking for a tour from noon to 10 p.m. will pay about $350 while late night tours from 10 p.m. to noon are $50 extra. Tours are offered from Monday to Friday. High Five Pedal Tours offers agents a 10 percent commission. Tours begin in mid-March and should be able to be booked beginning mid-February online. Although the website is still in the constructions stages, the site is www.highfivepedaltours.com.
“This isn’t just a bar-hopping bicycle tour to get people drunk,” he says. “I want this to be an experience. I don’t want this to be another ‘been there, done that’ tour. If I can get brewery and bookstore tours along with onboard musicians and magicians then I think I got something that you cant find on too many bike tours.”
Dave Cicotte is the owner/operator of two small businesses in Michigan. The first is High Five Pedal Tours and the second company is Good Pour. The main objective at Good Pour is to spread the word about craft beer in Michigan through special events, merchandise, and social media marketing and advertising.
Cicotte's also has more than nine years of experience in events, marketing, public relations, digital marketing, communications, design, and social media advertising/marketing. Cicotte was also a board member for Signature Travel Network’s Young Advisors Community (YAC).
He also spoke at the 2015 Travel Industry Exchange on the topics of Millennial travel and social media advertising and marketing.