In the fall of 2016, Chris Burns attended a local chamber event to learn about the trends and developments in the Fox Cities. He recalls a reoccurring theme that stuck out from the event; small cities like Appleton and Green Bay were losing millennials to larger cities like Milwaukee and Chicago. He started to imagine why that was happening. He says “It’s clear that young people want an active lifestyle and are looking for more things to do. Although the Fox Cities has much to offer, there were a few things missing, one being tours.”Around that same time, his college friend was starting a similar business in Detroit which became the inspiration for the Social Station. The driving motivation behind the company was that Chris and his wife Tina wanted to do something that was fun, showcased the city, and would bring people to Appleton from surrounding cities.
It took a year of planning and research before Chris and Tina decided to start the Social Station and almost 18 months before they actually began operating in June of 2017. They endured several challenges in starting the business. The most notable was getting the city to allow quadricycles to operate. The second was working with the city to approve a BYOB (bring your own beer) policy. In January, the city voted unanimously to allow alcohol on board the Social Station. With the new law, passengers 21 years of age or older may bring up to 36 ounces of fermented malt beverage per person. Chris says, “the ordinance change has created substantial buzz around the business and bookings have increased by more than 50%.“
About The Social Station:
It’s a 20-foot mega bike that provides an innovative, eco-friendly alternative for exploring the greater downtown area of Appleton, while, enjoying the outdoors, sight-seeing, and staying fit. Tours typically include three stops at local pubs, coffee shops, galleries, parks and beyond. Stops may vary based on tour theme.
Every tour is staffed with a trained driver who is responsible for ensuring the fun and safety of passengers during the ride. The tour is excellent entertainment for pub crawls, narrated history tours, corporate team building, birthday parties, bachelorette/bachelor parties, fitness expeditions, or scavenger hunts.
The bike features, ten pedal stations, five non-pedal stations, automotive chassis, suspension, steering, USB phone chargers, padded seat backs, seat belts, overhead storage, cup holders, 2-coolers, and a six-speaker stereo system.