Bird Out Of San Diego?
San Diego’s Mission Beach Boardwalk is the birthplace of the scooter rental industry. The story of how Travis VanderZanden tested his idea there in the Summer of 2017 is told in an article in Inc and on this site we tell the story of how repeated attempts resulted in a ban of all motorized vehicles, including motorized scooters, on the same boardwalk.
Now the City has not only banned Bird from the boardwalk it has decided to end Bird’s commercial presence in San Diego from August 1st. (subject to the outcome of the Protest they have lodged) – see previous blog post.
This must come as a significant symbolic and financial blow to a company that started the global scooter rental business, (in violation of multiple City ordinances), as San Diego’s temperate climate and popularity with tourists make it a highly desirable market for scooter rental companies.
Soon after Bird went public via a SPAC in November 2021 its share price, (BRDS), was in the region of $8 – $9. Today it’s trading at around 80 cents, one tenth or less of that earlier value only a few months ago. Could it be that investors have realized that the potential for Bird and like companies to ever make a profit is strewn with obstacles? Is the bloom off the rose of scooter renting? It certainly seems that way. Let’s see what this Summer brings when the tourists return in full force, COVID permitting.