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#17235 - 10/01/03 01:10 PM Young entrepreneurs operate horse and carriage
Marty Offline
Young entrepreneurs operate horse and carriage
Tuesday, September 30, 2003

It's one of those ideas that prompt people to ask, "why didn't I think
of that?" Well, the subjects of our next story not only thought of it,
they actually did it. Patrick Jones reports.

Patrick Jones, Reporting
Long before Belize City was inundated by the roar of SUVs the most
common sound in the Old Capital was that of hoof beats on the pavement.
And it is just that kind of nostalgia that entrepreneurs Ian Jones and
Sheree Young are counting on for the success of Gidiyap, the latest
attraction to be added to the national tourism product.

Ian Jones, Proprietor, Gidiyap Horse & Carriage
"Gidiyap Horse and Carriage Tours is a new and exclusive service that me
and my business partner are introducing to Belize City for the cruise
ship tourists. We cater mostly for the cruise ship tourists, but we also
cater for overnight tourists and locals as well. We cater for weddings,
proms, Quince Años or any special events that the need would arise for a
horse and carriage. If you want that attraction, you can call us and we
will be there for you."

The Gidiyap idea started off as a term paper at S.J.C. Junior College.

Ian Jones, Proprietor, Gidiyap Horse & Carriage
"The initial idea was from my girlfriend, who is also my business
partner. She had to do a final project for a business management class,
and it was to come up with a business plan."

Sheree Young, Proprietor, Gidiyap Horse & Carriage
"And so we were sitting down and we were thinking about something that's
not here in Belize. So he said, why don't we try a horse and carriage? I
was kind of little bit reluctant, but then I said it's a good idea,
because it was in the old time days when they used to have horse and
carriage and it will be something great and fun to do and bring back to
Belize."

The couple say once they reached agreement on moving the idea from paper
to the streets last February, they started to seek funding. After Youth
for the Future came through for them, all the other lights started to
flash green... and today the first carriage went into service, offering
tourists a different view of the City.

Sheree Young
"We take them to see the main historic sites. We start from the Tourism
Village. We take them downtown to see the Yarborough Cemetery, the
Anglican Cathedral Church, the Government House. Then we go back up the
Swing Bridge. We take them over on Queen Street; we take them by
Princess, because that's a very beautiful view. We show them the town
clock and then its back by the Tourist Village again."

But with the city streets becoming increasingly congested with traffic,
will the horse and carriage only make things worse?

Ian Jones
"Traffic is already slow and the horse moves at basically the same speed
at what traffic moves in rush hour, right. And the horse can go
relatively fast, but for safety reason, we just let it trot through the
traffic and it keeps up with the traffic it doesn't really stop any
other vehicles. And by the way, other taxi and tour guides who take
tourists on city tours are always stopping traffic and slowing down
traffic, so it was something that just fit in perfectly."

While they prefer to keep the value of their investment close to their
vests, Young says it will take at least a year before the business can
break even. Both Jones and Young are confident that the business will
work and they even have a built-in back up plan.

Sheree Young
"The tourists are very particular. They like things that are different,
something that they don't normally see. And everybody is offering
vehicular transportation, and we are just offering something different,
so I think it will work. And also the locals, the Belizeans, they are
very excited about it. So if it doesn't work out with the tourists, it
will work out with the Belizeans also."

Gidiyap Horse and Carriage Tours is based in the front yard of what used
to be Fort Street Guest House. And while only one carriage has been
commissioned so far, Young says the plan is to put seven more just like
this one, on the streets by year's end.

By the way, she got an "A" on her term paper. And while its still too
early to tell where this idea is headed, we think the couple deserves at
least a grade that high for their entrepreneurial effort. Patrick Jones,
for News 5.

The tours are offered in different packages starting at twenty U.S.
dollars per person. On the weekends, the couple uses the carriage to
give rides to children at Animal Park and B.T.L. Park for three dollars
per child. Each paying adult receives a free CD-ROM containing images of
Belize.

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#17236 - 10/01/03 01:20 PM Re: Young entrepreneurs operate horse and carriage
NYgal Offline
Hmm.. interesting highlight. Thanks Marty smile

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#17237 - 10/01/03 06:25 PM Re: Young entrepreneurs operate horse and carriage
Barbara K Offline
Now that's a good idea!
_________________________
www.barbsbelize.com

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#17238 - 10/02/03 12:06 AM Re: Young entrepreneurs operate horse and carriage
CorozalBayResort Offline
smile It is a great idea and interesting way to tour Belize City. I will ride it when I get to the city the next time.
I have been telling people in Corozal Town to do something like this for years now. It would definately be neat way to tour the waterfront & the rest of Corozal Town and attract some more tourism & make a few bucks to boot.
I would love to do something like this but, I got my hands full with the Corozal Bay Inn, but anyone who starts any tourism enterprise in Corozal Town will get our support. cool
_________________________
Doug & Maria Podzun




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#17239 - 10/08/03 11:29 AM Re: Young entrepreneurs operate horse and carriage
Laguna Punta Offline
My old friend "Reds", from the San Pedro Lions Club, used to own a pony that he sold rides to the young children of San Pedro. Several years ago, some horses were being rented out to tourist, I believe guided tours of Ambergris Caye, but it went belly up (the business, not the horses).
_________________________
Gone fishing!!

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