BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - Now that coronavirus restrictions are being lessened, people across the Gulf Coast are eager to get outside for some fresh air. Life’s a Beach Scooter rentals in Biloxi is helping them do just that.
Last year during the freshwater intrusion, everything came to a screeching halt for Barney Foster and his business, Life’s a Beach Rentals. Like many last year and now again this year due to COVID-19, Foster was forced to think outside the box in order to make a living. That is when his venture into land-based rentals began.
“It’s just stuff I’ve seen in Florida forever. I’ve been debating about doing it for a long time. When I saw the scoot-coupes— the little three-wheel cars— last year, and we were shut down on the beach. I was like I have got to find another way to make a living. So this is where it all came from, last year from the algae bloom, taking negative things and turning them into positives," said Foster.
And his investment in Biloxi tourism is paying off. “Really, it’s probably about fifty-fifty tourists and locals doing it, and they all love it. They ride their little kids. It’s neat to see the kids come in with the smile on their faces," Foster said.
With the coronavirus still a threat, Foster also makes sure that his team is taking the proper precautions. “We have hand sanitizer and wipes, Clorox wipes, all that stuff and Lysol to spray the helmets, and we wipe stuff down too," said Foster.
The compact nature of the vehicles makes for a fun experience, but is it a legal experience? “In the eyes of the law, he’s completely legal. I can’t find any reason that he wouldn’t be legal," said Biloxi Police Chief John Miller. “Certainly, there are some concerns from a public safety perspective. One, the vehicles are very small. They are very brightly colored and I appreciate that, but they’re sometimes hard to see. Their top speed is 40 miles an hour; that’s not even what the max speed limit is through that area. So there are some concerns that we have, but again, what he’s doing is legal,” Miller said.
For now, Foster will continue doing what he’s done for 39 years: renting fun, in the sun.