Come and cruise with BikeCruz!
By Ruth Augustin '15
Published On Monday, March 21, 2016
When Brandon Appel ’07 spent the summer in Boca with his grandparents, he came across Lynn University. At the time he was going into his junior year at Johnson & Wales University. “I came and decided to take a tour. I fell in love and never looked back. It’s something that was always here and I never explored it until the opportunity dropped in front of me,” Brandon said.
At the age of ten, Brandon Appel already knew that he wanted to own a hotel and work within the hospitality field. At the time, switching universities was a major deal for him and both schools had wonderful hospitality programs, but Boca Raton was the best place for Brandon to study. “South Florida is the mecca of hospitality and tourism in the country, but it took time to know which direction and where I was going to go with it.”
As Brandon pursued his degree in Hospitality Management and Tourism, he worked at a diverse selection of jobs ranging from Travel Sales, Management Training and Admissions/Recruitment Services. “I learned through these different experiences, having different managers and academic advisors, what I liked and didn’t like and developed my management style based on these experiences. Every experience led me to the next and how I got to where I am now,” he said.
Currently, Brandon is the Co-founder of BikeCrUz LLC. While studying abroad in Europe, Brandon was inspired to bring a similar concept to the United States. Brandon said, “I don’t think that there is a right time to start a business but you just have to take a deep breath, close your eyes and jump. If it works, great! If it doesn’t, at least I tried.” The idea of BikeCrUz is different compared to others. It is a safe, interactive experience that allows a group of people or individuals to charter the cruzer or buy individual seats on one of their interactive social experience tours. It was made for fun activities such as; Birthdays, corporate events/teambuilding or Wedding parties. As well as City Tours, parades, nights out and many more celebrations. People are allowed to crUz around the city for up to three hours with music, food, games and stops for alcoholic/Non-alcoholic beverages. For now, Brandon is the only crUz captain that chauffeurs all customers and tends to the day to day operations, bike maintenance and all other issues that arise. To create these tours and develop food/drinks packages for customers Brandon spends his time networking with the city and making different alliances with bars and restaurants. “I started out by saying, “What can I offer my customers with a BikeCrUz wrist band?” Some bars are half off or offer 20% to 30% discounts. “We are trying to get all-inclusive packages and advertising on the bike. As the bars see us more and more it develops and solidifies those relationships. The networking and those hospitable traits help benefit the business,” said Brandon.
There isn’t a day that Brandon doesn’t work. The website can be used to schedule tours but even when a day is not available on the site, he is willing to charter at any time. When Brandon isn’t hosting tours, he is working on networking, scheduling, emails, maintenance and reservations. He never quits!
Brandon has said that, “I am working harder now and more hours than I ever had in my life. I have more stresses than I ever had before, but I am happier now; it’s finding that balance. I am working hard but I have more control over it. It’s nice to have that flexibility. What drives me is getting to the point where professionally and financially, everything is okay, and my family and future are secure but knowing that what I am doing is a benefit to myself, my customers, community and family.” The dedication that Brandon has to his company, has not gone to vain. His hardwork and efforts have given him more experience and understanding of his life desires. Moving forward, the plan is to acquire more bikes and work in more cities. As of right now BikeCrUz is available in the Boca Raton, Delray Beach and Boynton Beach area.
Brandon has extended a discount code for all Lynn University students and alumni. When reserving your bike, be sure to mention “LYNNEDU” FOR 15% OFF YOUR NEXT BIKECRUZ.
Below are photos of BikeCruz: