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In April, the business of Cycle City Tours in downtown Vancouver was booming. Metro Vancouver’s largest bicycle touring company sold its rental bikes – about 200 of them – and new bikes at an incredible rate of about one per hour.
“It was just crazy,” said owner Josh Bloomfield. “We couldn’t get the bikes out quickly enough.”
He continued for about four weeks. But Bloomfield had no illusions about what it meant to sell its assets.
“It’s not like it’s a good thing for us,” he said. “It is an interim measure to generate income to pay the rent. Overall, it’s pretty terrible. “
Cycle City’s situation is familiar to many Greater Vancouver tourism businesses. In March, when the province declared an emergency following the new coronavirus outbreak, tourism stopped without precedent.
The busy summer months are supposed to be when businesses like Cycle City generate enough income to last during the meager winter months. If the company rented 350 bikes a day in July 2019, they may have reached 35 bikes a day this year – and that’s it.