BILOXI -- Steve Gunn says the big yellow tricycle he's pedaling won't make him rich, but it does provide a fun way for people to get around downtown.
He's been seen with the adult-size tricycle at the welcome ceremony when Amtrak rolled into town. He was spotted in front of City Hall, and delivering passengers between downtown restaurants and casinos. He was at MGM Park for the Southern Miss vs. University of South Alabama matchup Wednesday.
"People took pictures of it," he said. "I think we'll add to tourism in downtown Biloxi."
New Orleans, Boston, Chicago and many boardwalk communities in the East have pedicabs, or "cycle rickshaws" as Wikipedia.com calls them.
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A couple or two friends can relax on the double seat while Gunn pedals them to their destination or just for a spin around town. With his big personality, Gunn can entertain tourists while pointing out places they should visit, and he's already signed up some local businesses to advertise on his pedicab.
He works strictly for tips, and although his pedicab has only a tiny motor that powers its lights and offers an assist up hills, "I'm regulated by Harrison County Motor Vehicle for Hire Authority," he said. Gunn said he'll concentrate on picking up passengers near the Beau Rivage and Hard Rock casinos and the downtown district. He also talked to officials in other cities about working special events such as boat shows and festivals and he's ready to do weddings and private tours. He can be hailed by calling 297-5272.
For now, he's doing all the pedaling himself to learn the business, but he hopes to hire people to pedal for the summer season.
He bought the first Biloxi pedicab from a woman who gave rides in it in Bay St. Louis, and he has two more on order.
He's been pedaling downtown Wednesday through Sunday but after the new pedicabs arrive, he hopes to have to operational daily during the peak tourist season.
Already he's acquiring fans. A couple of passengers he pedaled around this week and found "mine is much more comfortable," Gunn said.