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Posted: June 17, 2019

Taking never give up to a new level

By Stephanie Stevens

What do you do when the road has been filled with bumps, obstacles and false starts?

You keep your Segway charged and you don’t give up.

Patrick Tolchard and Krista Berg, owners and operators of Valley Zipline Adventures, have been trying to get their new Segway tours going for nearly a year, but finding the right location to operate has been a challenge.

“We thought we wouldn’t have any issues,” said Tolchard. “The devices are governed as mobility assist devices. They use less power than an electric wheel chair. But not everyone sees it that way unfortunately.”

But this pair of entrepreneurs takes “never give up” to a new level.

After zoning blocks and a miscommunication that dashed winter tours of the White Way hopes, Tolchard and Berg re-named the Segway portion of their adventure business, which includes a climbing wall at the zip line Dry Gulch location, and Scootin’ Kootenay Tours officially started to roll June 14.

“In the beginning we wanted to run the tours at our zip line site, however the RDEK (Regional District of East Kootenay) wanted us to rezone the property,” Tolchard explained. “Unfortunately, we lease the land and rezoning wasn’t an option. So after many ideas and no headway, we decided to keep it simple and approach the Village of Radium Hot Springs. Mayor and council were extremely supportive of the idea and gave us a one-year trial lease to test the tour out.

“We are so excited to be getting Scootin’ Kootenay Tours running and offering this new activity to all our visitors and locals. So far our soft runs of the tour have been super positive, our guides are just outstanding, and the public has been so curious when they’ve seen us out scootin’ around. These tours are going to be so much fun!”

Tolchard said guests will meet at the Radium Rink beside the new Radium Hot Springs Centre. From there they will be checked in and have a training session to get everyone comfortable on the Segways. Once they have completed the training, “we are off to scoot around the streets of Radium. We have some beautiful spots for photos, and we will be providing interpretation of different areas in the village.”

The Segways are all terrain units that can be used in any season and are a stable way to enjoy a tour around various valley locales.

“In the end we would love to expand the tours around the valley,” said Tolchard. “These tours are extremely successful across the world and we want to follow that trend. We just need to find more suitable locations that are supportive of the activity. We are open to offers if anyone out there thinks they have the perfect spot for us to expand our tours to.”

The minimum age for the Radium tour is 14, with the weight restrictions at 100 to 260 lbs.

“Once we find a second tour location that is off of main roads, we will reduce the age limit,” said Tolchard. “Our tour sizes will max out at six participants. Larger groups can book but will need to call ahead to make a group booking. Despite all the setbacks, we are super excited to be expanding again and bringing more activities to the valley. That was always our goal from day one of opening Valley Zipline Adventures.

“We are so thankful to our all of our loyal customers, supporters, family, and our amazing staff. Cheers to another successful 2019!”

Lead image: Patrick Tolchard and Krista Berg on their Segways. Photos by Patrick Tolchard

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