An ‘City Hikes’ Aspect Hustle Turns into a Profitable Enterprise

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Again in 2018, Lisa Peña heard a podcast about an entrepreneur in San Francisco who ran a enterprise main hikes throughout San Francisco. The idea was easy: As an alternative of taking hikes alongside nature trails, city explorers had been trekking via alleyways and winding metropolis streets.

“I received that excited feeling that I’ve solely had a few different instances in my life, and I knew that I needed to deliver city mountain climbing to Kansas Metropolis,” Peña informed In Kansas Metropolis.

The Kansas Metropolis native launched City Hikes KC the next yr as a facet hustle, charging clients $28 to take guided excursions together with her on foot across the metropolis she cherished. As we speak, that enterprise is a worthwhile, full-time endeavor that provides ten totally different mountain climbing routes with a employees of 6 guides. This is how she put City Hikes KC on the map.

A ardour for journey

Like many profitable entrepreneurs, Peña took an exercise she had a ardour for and discovered a option to monetize it. A former Peace Corps volunteer and backpacker, she cherished to discover internationally and domestically. Peña utilized that very same curiosity to her mountain climbing enterprise, taking vacationers and locals to sights off the crushed path.

After listening to the podcast interview about UrbanHikerSF, she contacted the corporate’s founder, Alexandra Kenin, and requested her questions. Peña spent the following yr researching routes, establishing a social presence, getting insurance coverage, constructing an internet site, and determining a cost system.

Beginning off as a facet hustle

Peña launched her enterprise in 2019 whereas working for Lady Scouts of NE Kansas & NW Missouri. Her first hike was the Crossroads Westside City Hike, which weaves out and in of alleyways within the metropolis’s Arts District.

Photograph by City Hikes KC

“I began it out as a facet hustle,” she informed Market. “I did not understand how a lot cash I used to be going to earn. I actually was ranging from scratch. There was no different city mountain climbing sector in Kansas Metropolis.”

Curiosity was so nice that she added one other tour to her enterprise after which one other. Quickly, she realized she’d should give up her full-time job if she needed to scale.”That was a scary leap,” she says.

One in all her first strikes was upping her value from $28 a head to $38.

Gradual burn

Peña concedes that she made no cash within the enterprise the primary few years. Her bills included insurance coverage, her guides, and different payments related to the enterprise and life.

However in the summertime of 2020, she began getting extra guides and routes, and the enterprise started to growth. “It was an excellent factor to do throughout the pandemic since we’re principally exterior and could be socially distanced,” Peña informed In Kansas Metropolis.

By 2021, over one thousand clients took hikes together with her firm. By 2022, she had a lot enterprise she needed to rent extra guides and add extra routes.

As for income, she’s doing simply high-quality now. “Lastly I’m making an revenue that may be a sustaining revenue,” she mentioned on Market.

What friends can count on

Peña says city hikers can count on to see a facet of Kansas Metropolis they’ve by no means seen, “even in neighborhoods they assume they know. We study in regards to the historical past and tales of people that made a distinction in Kansas Metropolis, and see various kinds of out of doors artwork, together with murals, walk-up hidden stairsteps, bridges, alleyways, and parks.”

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