A new way to explore Downtown
A business based in Detroit that’s taking a winter tour of the warmer
states is making a stop in Jacksonville.
Segways2U rents the electric-powered personal transporters to people
who want to enhance the pedestrian experience without entirely losing
the feet-on-the-ground aspect.
Maureen Kearns has brought 11 of the eco-friendly, battery-powered
pedestrian devices and has set up shop at the Landing near Fionn
MacCool’s Irish Pub.
Kearns said they decided to stop here because of the Taxslayer.com
Gator Bowl and they’ll be renting the Segways through Jan. 2, when
they’ll pack up and head farther south.
Just about anyone can learn to operate a Segway in a few minutes, it
can travel anywhere that’s good for walking and it’s a great way to tour
Downtown, she said.
“People are really enjoying taking them over the Main Street Bridge,”
Segways2U is open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. seven days a week, weather
permitting. Rental rates start at $20. For information, visit
www.segways2u.com or call 313-477-8941.
The Jacksonville Daily Record/Dec.19, 2011
Maureen Kearns has a small fleet of Segway
personal transporters for rent at the Landing.
The Saturday segway tour was so
much fun and you are a great tour
guide. I would like to give segway
gift certificates for Christmas.
We had a great experience on the
segways. Want to come back soon
and do it again. I'm sure others
will see how much fun we had and
will want to experience it too.
Our Segway history tour was
fantastic...you made it everything
we were expecting and more.
Thanks for a wonderful excursion!
-Rita and Jerry K.
Michigan couple 'Segway' to adventure
New shop to rent transports in downtown Punta
By DREW WINCHESTER, STAFF WRITER
PUNTA GORDA - The "adventure" began on
the shores of the Detroit River, where Keith
Steele and Maureen Kearns started renting their Segways to
people looking for a different way to explore the heart of the
Steele and Kearns decided they would spend part of the
year in their beloved Detroit, then take their fleet of Segways
on the road in search of warmer climates in the winter.
They made stops in Myrtle Beach, Jacksonville, Palm
Beach, Fort Lauderdale and other waterfront communities
before settling on Punta Gorda as the winter home of their
new business, Segways2U, and now the couple are just days
away from opening the doors.
"We felt Punta Gorda was ideal for Segways," Steele said.
"It's very 'Segway-able.'"
The Segway is a two wheeled transportation device that
operates on gyroscopic and fluid-based motion sensors,
allowing the operator to control the device by leaning forward
and back. The vehicle first appeared in the early 2000s.
The devices presented an opportunity to segue into the
next phase of their lives for Steele and Kearns, who were in
far different industries in Michigan: Steele worked in
manufacturing, while Kearns worked behind a desk. But
Kearns' work with a nonprofit group that focused on tourism
in Detroit led them to the realization that operating a Segway
business would be an interesting and rewarding way to
spend the rest of their lives.
Thus, the "adventure" was born.
"We wanted to utilize the Segways yearround, and we
wanted to travel," Kearns said, adding, "I didn't want to sit at
a computer anymore; I wanted something active. So this is
The addition of Segways to downtown Punta Gorda is a
perfect fit, according to Julie Mathis, director of the Charlotte
County Chamber of Commerce.
Mathis said the community's focus on outdoor activities
goes hand-in hand with the Segway, especially for attractions
like the Harborwalk.
"There's all sorts of opportunities for a business like that in
this community," Mathis said. "It's another way to keep
Segways2U should be open for business this weekend. It'll
offer not only rentals, but also guided tours of historical
venues around downtown. Segways can be rented by the
hour or a half-day. Steele and Kearns provide lessons for
those who are new to the Segway.
"We really want to add to the community," Steele said.
Nancy Prafke, CEO of Team Punta Gorda, said the citizens
group had no official opinion about the new Segways, but
thought they'd make a nice addition to the loaner bicycle
"I think this is another choice of transportation for people to
see our wonderful community," Prafke said.
Segways2U is located at 207 Cross St., Punta Gorda. For
more information, call 855-U-SEGWAY(8-734929), or visit
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ?
SUN PHOTO BY DREW WINCHESTER