As spring dawns on a new year, Gaelan Baillie is massively optimistic about his business, Sight See Rentals at 468 Third St.
“Last summer, I didn’t know what to expect,” he said. “I didn’t think it was going to be good, but it was.”
He opened in June. The tourists started coming and never let up.
“It was all Americans,” Baillie said, “I have lots of friends from Rochester now. People would come from Buffalo. We would have a group of five, then they would come back with friends and it would be a group of 10. Then we would have a group of 15.”
Baillee rents all sorts of mobility gear from his shop and a kiosk at Old Falls and Prospect. Bicycle rentals are $10 for the first hour, $5 for each additional hour or a whole day for $25.
Reddy Bikeshare, sponsored by Independent Health, is a bit of a competitor but Baillee said he has a couple advantages. He has a wider variety of bikes available compared to the one-size fits all basketed behemoths Reddy Bikeshare offers. Baillee also has youth bikes as well and offers a helmet with every rental. Helmets are mandatory for children in New York.
Jennifer White is co-founder and communications director for Reddybike. She did say several different rental options are available, including a special for Niagara Falls residents where it costs $1 per year and one cent per minute. Different plans are available and can be accessed by downloading the app at Reddybikeshare.com
Reddybike launched in the Falls in 2019.
"2020 was our first full season and what an interesting season it was," White said. "We served more people in 2020 than the previous four years combined."
Baillie said he buys Jamis Bikes from Beeton’s Cyclery on Main Street in Niagara Falls.
His electric scooters have grown massively in popularity because they are easy to operate with limited effort. They rent for $15 an hour or $30 for the whole day.
As he worked preparing mobility scooters for use on Monday, Josh and Beckah Carey stopped by to visit.
The brother and sister just opened the Judas Tree at 1607 Pine Ave., a tapas bar featuring small plates.
The name comes from their grandfather’s favorite tree, a redbud in his backyard. They are happy to support small business.
Baillee said he works about half the year.
“We do really well for five months and then we are done,” he explained.
Coming to his rental fleet in the near future will be e-assist bikes.
“We’ve been looking for a house in DeVeaux so I can ride the bike path to work,” he said.
Beeton's has been in place since 1909. John Garner. The shop also is home to Cataract Lock and Safe a full service locksmith.
Garner said the trouble for them is finding inventory.
"We're still trying to get product," Garner said. "We ordered 87 bikes. We got 22 in so far."
Despite their popularity of electric assist bikes, Garner said he has no plans to start selling them because they have enough work to keep going without.
On Monday, three mechanics were hustling on bike repairs.
"The season started so early," Garner said.