Making Waves

Plowing Ahead

Soon after his inspiring trolley tour, Wilson found his first supporter in Manny Rogers, a funeral parlor owner and military vehicle collector from across the Charles River in Cambridge. A Duck owner himself, Rogers understood Wilson's vision and invested $90,000 to pay for the first vehicle. Wilson could now give skeptical officials and potential investors tours in the Duck so they could experience firsthand the excitement of seeing the city from the amphibious vehicle's perspective. He went one step further and sent tour invitations to everyone in the Greater Boston Visitor and Convention Bureau to get the local tourism industry familiar with the idea.

Around the same time, Wilson met Robert MacDowell, the owner of a 25-year-old Duck tour business in Branson, Missouri. Wilson began to use MacDowell's business as a model to show naysayers that Duck tours could work successfully. Also, MacDowell restored Ducks on the side, which provided Wilson with a much-needed source of vehicles. Now he only had to wind his way through the remaining red tape and persuade investors to provide the $1.25 million he still needed to get Boston Duck Tours rolling.

Like this article? Get this issue right now on iPad, Nook or Kindle Fire.

This article was originally published in the June 1999 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Making Waves.

Loading the player ...

Microsoft's Strategy Behind Taking Minecraft and Not Its Founders

Ads by Google

Share Your Thoughts

Most Shared Stories
1