Tahoe Outdoor Adventures

1. Organizational Overview

Tahoe Outdoor Adventures is a private tour company in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, which straddle the border between California and Nevada. Founded in 2018 by Michelle Moore, a veteran guide who previously specialised in ATV and snowmobile tours, it started as an all-round tour company offering snowshoeing, paddleboarding and hiking excursions, but through its collaboration with UBCO, has expanded into guided group tours by electric bike.

The company currently has five year-round employees, a fleet of 10 UBCO 2X2 bike, and is planning to expand both its workforce and fleet in Summer 2024. Their mission is to provide high-quality outdoor experiences while promoting environmental stewardship and sustainability in the Lake Tahoe region.

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2. Fleet Overview

At the time of purchase, Tahoe Outdoor Adventures did not have an existing fleet, but was looking to scale up their operations to the next level by strategically adding vehicles that would increase its overall revenue.

Moore was eager to source electric vehicles for this, partly through a personal commitment to “leave no trace”, and partly because of the stringent regulations enforced by the local forestry service, which issues steep fines for any company using ICE-powered vehicles on its trails.

“I was looking for something, but didn’t quite know what it was,” says Moore. “When I first saw a picture of the UBCO bike, it was clear it was something different — and when I test-rode it, I immediately knew it was the right product. Lake Tahoe has all these locations that are just perfect for this kind of bike. In fact, it was so perfect our first ten bikes took us all the way into winter, and I market them now as “snow-bike tours”.

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3. UBCO Solution

The company purchased five UBCO bikes to begin with and started offering group tours. Although it was almost the end of the season and the company was beginning to prepare for winter, it found that their revenue tripled — and ended up repaying the upfront cost of the bikes within the first couple of months.

Prior to using UBCO’s bikes, the company’s top-priced offer was a private snowshoe tour for $200, for which it generally received two or three bookings a month. Once they introduced the bikes, it began offering group tours at $200 per person, which proved so popular the company often runs two in a day.

Moore also found that the bikes handle well in up to a foot of fresh snow, allowing her to create trans-seasonal UBCO tours into the mountains, rather than being limited to the summer months. “We take them on off-road trails that climb to 7,000ft elevations, and these bikes handle all of that with no problem. I’ve had a few different kinds of dirt bike, and they can’t even make it up to the places the UBCO can.”

Another big advantage for Moore’s bottom line is the reduced spending on fossil fuels, as well as fewer work hours needed to maintain an electric bike.

“As opposed to my experiences with ATVs and snowmobiles, the ease of operations, and not having to spend that money on fuel just makes everything simpler — now we can just plug the bikes in and leave them.”

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