Mike Jones had decided it was time to leave retirement behind and return to being a business owner. However, the Marco Island resident was faced with one important question before that could become a reality: exactly what would his next venture be?
An answer appeared when he was surfing the internet and noticed a listing for what has turned out to be the ideal business. That began a process that culminated in Jones and his wife, Julie, becoming the new owners of Beach Bum Equipment Rentals in May.
The company provides beachgoers with such necessary items as chairs, umbrellas, coolers, children’s sand toys and snorkeling equipment, as well as two varieties of beach wheelchairs. Delivery and pickup are free on Marco, be it to a residence, a hotel, the beach or one of the island’s three beach-access points.
Beach Bum Equipment Rentals was founded 4 years ago by Holly Olson of Goodland, who sold it to the Joneses.
“I happened to be on Facebook Marketplace, and she had placed an ad there and it just seemed like a really cool business,” recollected Mike Jones.
He’d been retired since he and his wife moved to Marco permanently in 2013 from their hometown of Detroit Lakes, Minn., where he owned a towing company and Julie Jones worked in nursing and business management. Mike Jones left the towing business following a major traffic accident in 2008 that resulted in a leg being amputated.
With the passage of time, he had an irresistible urge to return to the world of work.
“I was looking for something to do,” said Mike Jones. “I was kind of getting bored. With me being handicapped and loving to help handicapped people, this business just felt like a perfect fit for us.”
He described the business’ clientele as being, “A little bit of everybody,” everyone from “young kids, to 80 and 90 year-olds that still want to get to the beach; a lot of families that are down on vacation and don’t want to have to purchase all of their beach equipment.”
The economic upheaval caused by the pandemic hasn’t posed a problem for Beach Bum Equipment Rentals.
“Marco has been busy this summer because everybody wasn’t able to come down last season,” said Mike Jones. “It’s been fairly busy, and we couldn’t be happier, although we do take precautions to make sure and sanitize and clean equipment. We have a very positive outlook for the upcoming season.”
For more information about Beach Bum Equipment Rentals, visit beachbumequipmentrentals.com or call 239- 280-0321 or 218-849-9300.