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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Getting There: Pedal Pub tours coming to Coeur d’Alene, with family friendly and 21+ options available

A festive new way to experience downtown Coeur d’Alene is on the horizon.

Gary Cooper, owner of the e-bike and Segway company Tour CDA owner, said a unanimous June 18 city council vote was the first step of many to bring a Pedal Pub to town.

In the spirit of Spokane’s Party Trolley, the Pedal Pub vehicle would be guided by a driver, with a maximum of 14 guests pedaling along while socializing, with the option of a drink in hand during some tours.

While council members approved his overall plan, they requested tweaks to the route that Cooper plans to implement and have finalized within the next month so he can start offering tours this summer.

CDA Tours has guided visitors through the growing tourist destination for five years, and customers are always interested in other activities, Cooper said.

“We know that the Pedal Pub is a popular item in a lot of destinations, so we thought that would be unique to Coeur d’Alene, and it has the right type of atmosphere in the downtown area for it,” Cooper said.

Pricing for the Pedal Pub has not been finalized, but Cooper said he expects to charge $39 per person and $350 to $400 for groups like a bridal shower or a corporate event. There are still some decorative aspects that need to be completed before tours commence, Cooper said. Once it’s fully decked out, Cooper hopes his one Pedal Pub vehicle will take the streets of Coeur d’Alene for three tours a day, four days a week, with Cooper and a business partner as the guides.

The Pedal Pub season will run from May through October, but Cooper said he might create special events during the Christmas season if the weather isn’t too bad. The tours will have a maximum capacity of 14 people, said Kelly Setters, Coeur d’Alene deputy city clerk. Tours begin at 1618 E Lakeside Ave. near Sherman and 17th Street.

A family-friendly tour will begin at 11 a.m., Setters said. It will include a two-hour tour around town with historical information about Coeur d’Alene and will be alcohol-free.

Tours beginning at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. will only allow people 21 and over, she said. The afternoon and evening tours will allow people to bring canned beer, seltzer and wine, and will stop at restaurants and bars. Participants will not be allowed to bring alcohol from establishments onto the vehicle, and city law prohibits the tour company from providing drinks.

While there can be a safety concern for people drinking and pedaling, Cooper will require all participants to sign a waiver stating they will not board the vehicle if they are too intoxicated and will not bring any outside alcohol or hard liquor on board, with the exception of the allowed canned drinks.

“This is not meant to be a booze cruise. It’s meant for people to socialize and explore Coeur d’Alene and have a good time and have some adult beverages,” he said. “It is not a drunk fest. We’ve never intended for it to be that.”

City Council member Christie Wood said the city has worked with businesses similar to Tour CDA with pedal-powered party wagons, and they are tough businesses to maintain.

“The ones that we’ve had in the past didn’t really stick with it, but this group seems that it really wants to do more of a historical bent, where they’re showing tours of downtown Coeur d’Alene,” she said.

The pedal-powered vehicle is allowed by city code but requires route approval from city council.

“We support local businesses and understand that these kinds of touristy things go on in other cities, and we think that our citizens will have a lot of fun with it,” Wood said. “(Tour CDA) seems to have really good control in place to make sure that the alcohol is just a side deal. It’s not the main attraction.”