Dan Kennedy’s new business venture required a 200-page application to the Passenger Transportation Board and a six month wait for approval.
“Nobody has done anything like this yet,” Kennedy explained.
“Everyone I talked to, they weren’t skeptical, they didn’t really know what to tell me.”
Kennedy is converting a passenger bus into a travelling hotel.
The license he was granted allows only certain pick-up locations but he is otherwise able to go wherever he wants, “like an Uber.”
He plans on picking people up either in Revelstoke or at the Kelowna airport and driving them to ski hills, bike trails or wherever they want to go that can be accessed on asphalt.
Originally from New Brusnwick, this is Kennedy’s fourth summer in Revelstoke where he has been working seasonal jobs.
“I was working on the brushing crew one fall and trying to figure out a way to make things work in Revelstoke, to be able to stay here and not have to work seasonal jobs, always trying to make ends meet, that struggle you often see around town,” he said.
|StokedAF will take you wherever you want to go. (Jocelyn Doll/Revelstoke Review)|
Kennedy, 25, went through Community Future’s Self Employment Program and was approved for a loan from Community Futures.
He credited Community Futures as a big help with developing his business plan, raising lots of questions that pointed Kennedy in the right direction.
Kennedy bought the bus last fall, gutted it and parked it for the winter.
He worked on the Eagle Pass heli-skiing sales team for the winter, saying he learned a lot about tourism operations that he will use to make his own business successful.
“It was a bit of a challenge at first to be locked in an office behind a desk, but it was really educational. I learned a huge amount and everybody in the office was really helpful and really supportive of what I was doing,” he said.
This spring he has been hard at work on renovations and clean up to the 30-year-old vehicle. Luckily, he said the engine was rebuilt and only has 48,000 miles on it.
Once the rust is removed and the metal is painted, Kennedy said the construction will begin.
The bus will feature a separate sleeping quarters that will house six to eight people as well as a bathroom with a shower.
The kitchen and living area will be in the middle of the bus. Like a motorhome, the kitchen area will contain a small stove and oven for preparing meals if his guests so wish.
The storage spaces underneath will be used to transport gear. One of them will be heated and air tight to keep boots warm and the stink out of the bus.
“There’s lots of things to think about,” he said with a laugh. “It’s a great cure for boredom that’s for sure.”
He will be re-installing a few of the original coach seats in the front where guests will sit during transportation.
Kennedy hopes to have the Bus outfitting done this summer. He plans on living on the bus and operating a few biking tours this summer in order to work out all of the kinks before the upcoming ski season.
Kennedy is grateful for the support he has found for his project in Revelstoke, saying it wouldn’t have been possible without friends and experts who have lent their opinions and ideas.