They look like toy cars. Something you might leave under the Christmas tree for a 10 year old.
But the bright primary-coloured Scoot Coupes are the newest way for tourists to experience Grand Cayman.
Sade Wood has been introducing visitors to the island via Segway for the past four years as co-owner of Cayman Segway Tours. When she took a Scoot Coupe tour of San Francisco in January, she immediately saw the potential to expand her offerings.
“I said, ‘This is such a cool idea,’” she said, recalling the experience of motoring around the Bay Area city in the two-seat, three-wheeled vehicle. Not only was it fun to drive, but the tour that came with it was informative.
The self-paced tour was linked to GPS and provided information based on geographical pins connected to an app. Wood decided it was something that would work in Cayman as well. Although it took some time.
Wood said she spent three to four months researching and writing scripts for two tours. A four-hour tour covers West Bay, while it takes five hours to do the East End. She passed that information off to a New Hampshire firm that developed an app incorporating narration and photos tied to specific GPS points. Now people can take what’s being marketed as a Scoot n Tour.
“It’s geared toward Cayman history and culture,” Wood said. “I have some things on there on dialect. We give them a few Caymanian phrases.”
Tourists not only get directions on where to go, but also information on the various attractions on Grand Cayman, including such things as Hell, the Cayman Turtle Centre, the East End Blowholes and recommended beaches, with time built into the itinerary to stop and experience each one. There is material on the destruction caused by Hurricane Ivan in 2004 and colourful local stories that help give visitors a taste of the island.
For instance, Wood includes a story about a woman making sure her barracuda, which is often associated with ciguatera food poisoning, is safe to eat, by trying it out on her husband first.
“He survived, and so will you,” the narrator assures the listener.
The Scoot Coupes, which are produced by a Florida-based company, are technically licensed as motorcycles. The model Wood has is listed at $7,600 and has a top speed of 30 miles per hour, according to the manufacturer. It is controlled by a motorcycle-type handlebar which includes the throttle and brakes.
And for those unfamiliar with British-inspired driving, the app “reminds them to stay on the left”, Wood said.
She said she’s encouraged by the interest the cars have generated in the two weeks they have been on the road in Cayman.
Hotel concierges have been “calling us like crazy”, she said. “The fact there is something new to do, they like that.”
She’s even had a lot of interest from local residents, she said.
Eventually, she plans to add a nine-hour islandwide tour option and, if there is enough demand, put more of the little cars on the road, beyond the four she now has. She said she believes the cars will catch on.
“It’s a great opportunity for people to learn about Cayman in a cool, unconventional way,” she said.