A local business offering daily rentals of electric bicycles and tricycles opens on June 6 at 508 S Main St., Hendersonville.
In addition to renting cars, Blue Ridge Rentals will house the new Pisgah coffee and smoothie store and provide a permanent place for The Taste Buds food truck. Blue Ridge Rentals joins The Taste Buds and The View Restaurant at the Echo Mountain Inn as the latest venture from the Blue Ridge Hospitality Group.
“I could open another restaurant, but there are so many restaurants in the area. So we were trying to come up with something that wasn’t in our area yet that we could offer, that was different, “said Tom Makowski, founder and CEO of Blue Ridge Hospitality Group.
The business will offer two 2021 Polaris Slingshot Rs and one 2022 Vanderhall Venice GT for a rental period of eight hours, 24 hours or three days. No motorcycle license is required to drive any of the vehicles and insurance is provided.
Makowski said Vanderhall is a rarity, as only 10,000 are made annually, and they have only been made since 2018.
“We are the only Vanderhall within, I think, 120 miles from us,” Makowski said. “Unless someone has one in their house that I just don’t know about, but that’s what Vanderhall told me.”
Lectric XP 2.0 electric bikes will also be available for the same rental period. These bikes were included, according to Makowski, because of the future Ecusta Trail, which runs from Hendersonville to Brevard.
After meeting a friend in Waynesville and hiring Slingshots to ride Blue Ridge Parkway, Makowski said he would like something similar to exist in Hendersonville. He partnered with Drew Greenblatt, a corporate executive chef at the Blue Ridge Hospitality Group, to start the business.
I said, “Man, this is a little crazy.” But then he showed me the slingshot, and I said to myself, “That’s great,” Greenblatt said.
After looking around and seeing that no business was offering anything like what Makowski was offering, Greenblatt said he was fully on board.
“I definitely think we need something a little more adventurous than hiking and trails,” he said. “You can take one of them and hit the Blue Ridge Parkway. Go outside, smell the autumn when it starts to come, and see the color change without having to roll out a window.”
Initially, the rental business would have been exhausted by The View restaurant, Makowski said, but they had a chance meeting that led to the current planned location.
“We found this building on Main Street and … the man was putting up the sign,” he said. “As soon as I released the signature, I came there and told him I would buy it.”
About 30,000 cars pass by the future site every day, according to Makovski.
Realizing that the small office space in the new building would be ideal for a coffee shop, he said he turned to his good friends who own Pisgah Coffee Roasters with the idea.
I said to myself, “Hey, I have this place on Main Street. Do you want to come and open a cafe? We will make a small concept. My team will manage it and we will be a partnership, “he said.” And they say, “Yes, let’s do it.”
Makowski believes that the business will be well received by both locals and tourists, due to the recognizability of the name of the local cafe Pisgah and the quality of their products.
“I know we have some competition on Main Street, but that’s good. We are there to serve good food and have fun, “he said.
For the grand opening, Makowski said they plan to have live music, bicycle demonstrations, a professional photo shoot of people sitting in Slingshots, and food from The Taste Buds. For the first few months, he said, all those who respond will also receive a free cup of coffee.
“It’s something close to my heart. My brother is in the Pennsylvania State Police,” he said. “They are doing a lot for our community, so it’s time to do something back for them. And coffee is always good because they spin all day.
For more information or to rent a vehicle, visit https://www.blueridgerentals.net/.