By David Hurst The Tribune-Democrat, Johnstown, Pa.
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) A Pennsylvania couple have launched "Slingshot City Rentals." Marketed as a street-legal thrill ride on three wheels, the vehicles can be rented by the hour, or the day.
Michael and Krista Rager aren't shy about promoting Johnstown and the scenic mountain setting that surrounds the city.
Now, the local entrepreneurs are offering visitors a whole new way of seeing it -- from the bucket seat of a Polaris Slingshot.
The Ragers, who founded Para-Coat Technologies a decade ago, have launched Slingshot City Rentals, offering the open air "auto cycles" to the public by the hour, or the day.
Marketed as a street-legal thrill ride on three wheels, the vehicles pack plenty of punch -- and "a 360-degree view of Johnstown," whether someone wants to explore city attractions on an afternoon cruise or hit the highway and test out the 1,200-pound vehicle's 2.4-liter engine, Krista Rager said.
"If you want to explore the area and soak up the scenery, there's no better way to do it," she said, noting the vehicles offer an open-air motorcycle experience with the more comfortable convenience of a sports car.
Michael Rager said he bought one as a personal vehicle about a year ago -- and quickly realized he had an attention-getter. Anytime he'd pull into a gas station or restaurant parking lot, people surrounded or started firing off questions about it.
"We love it. But with a 3- and 6-year-old at home, you don't get many chances to take it out on the road," Michael Rager said. Krista said it reminded her of all of the beach buggy rentals she spotted during a recent trip to the Outer Banks -- "and we thought, why don't we see if we can rent them. Let's bring that experience to Johnstown."
The company at 17 Johns St. has two Slingshots and a third on the way -- two of which will feature navigation.
Anyone 21 years old and older with a Pennsylvania driver's license will be able to rent the vehicles through a process similar to renting a car, she said.
Insurance is also a must and carries a $15 cost, the couple said.
"As long as you can drive a 5-speed car, you can drive a Slingshot," Krista said.
Eyeglasses are required and helmets are optional, she added.
The company has created Facebook and Instagram accounts for its rental business, and each direct customers to www.slingshotcityrentals.com, where customers can browse and book time slots and pay for their rentals. Rates start at $75 for two hours and all-day options are also available, the company's website shows.
If the business takes off, they may add scooters, self-balancing Segways and other bikes, Krista said.
"People would be able to tour Cambria City on their Segway and stroll down the river walk," she said. "We think there are a ton of possibilities."