Founder John Smith and his wife Megan rode Segway PTs for the first time in Northern Michigan. The Smiths instantly fell in love with the thrill and the freeing experience of riding Segway PTs. Within 15 minutes of renting, John had a light-bulb moment. He thought, “we could start a Segway PT Tour and Rental business in Plymouth, Michigan.” Three weeks later, John and Megan opened their first Segway PT Tour and Rental business in downtown Plymouth, Michigan.
With a significant credit card investment, just two Segway PT I2s, a partnership with a local retailer and a few hopes and prayers, the Smith Team opened Seg Adventures, LLC. The business name and the tagline “that’s how we roll,” were meant to convey the fun associated with Segway PT tours.
2011 to 2013
After moving to a couple of different locations around Plymouth, John began to discover that he would like to expand his Segway PT Tour and Rental business to other cities and towns. During time off for the birth of their first child, John was able to research, explore and take the required steps to launch the next PT Tour location.
John and his wife opened a second location in the historic town of Franklin, TN, neighboring town of Nashville. John worked with several partners and managers to keep the concept growing and thriving from a distance of 500 miles.
After offering the Segway PT experience to thousands of tourists and enthusiasts throughout Michigan and Tennessee, John was continuing to develop his passion for Segway Products. He began the process of transitioning his Segway PT Tour and Rental business to an Authorized Segway Experience Center and ultimately to an Authorized Segway Dealership.
John opened the Segway PT Dealership.
John and his trusted Service Manager, Brett traveled to Bedford, NH to attend the Dealer Training and Factory Tour. There they learned the ins and outs of Segway PT manufacturing, service repair, training and marketing best practices.
Since establishing the dealership, John has added several sales team members and contracted with his friend Brett to become his Certified Service Manager and Advisor.
John relaunched the dealership under the name Great Lakes Segway and promptly launched Greatlakessegway.com.
Delivered our first test unit for DNR at Belle Isle. This pilot program is a combined joint effort to enhance daily operations, along with using green-technology in order to keep a minimal “footprint” in our state parks.
Sold to our first international customer; a farmer who now uses his Segway to get around his large greenhouse.
Attended and participated in the Grand Rapids MACP winter session shows. As a result, we were able to make several contacts with local law enforcement agencies, which in turn, led us to doing demos for law enforcement agencies across the state of Michigan.
Presented to the DNR Green Initiative Team, proposing that Segway purchases be placed under the green initiative grant funding.
Delivered 6 units to Detroit Riverfront Conservancy. The Segways are being used to patrol along the Detroit River.
Began the expansion of our showroom and service area in Walled Lake.
Street Smart certified training and sales program and affiliate
We took 8 units to help establish tour business in Sault Ste Marie and in the process, aided with tour management and tour routes in the area.
Sold and delivered 2 units to the Port Huron Police. They now use the Segways to help patrol the border.
Delivered an off-road X2 test unit at Ludington State Park. This is in conjunction with the same test program as Belle Isle.
Purchased 62 Segways from Target Co. to refurbish and repurpose.
Grand Opening at our Walled Lake showroom!
Great Lakes Segway is featured on the cover of The Oakland Press.
Interview with Channel 7 at Michigan Novi Golf show, highlighting several of our products while giving demos.
Boyne Mt. purchased 8 Segways for their summer Segway activity program.
Great Lakes Segway is one of 21 businesses elected as SBA Emerging Leaders Program.
Delivered unit to the Walled Lake Police Department.
Trained and certified 2 Shelby Township police officers for their Segway program for community policing.
Trained and certified 3 WLPD police officers for their Segway program for community policing.
Owner, John Smith is elected to be a speaker at the WMLC Mobility Conference.