Billtown Buggies, LLC has been offering a new way for residents to experience downtown, taking the city back to its roots.
Since St. Patrick's Day, the company has been offering horse-drawn carriage rides, operating out of a barn at 112 Dubois St.
The company is available for events, weddings or even just a ride around town. Billtown Buggies has offered rides during the farmer's market on Saturday mornings and during First Fridays. One of their more popular packages features a ride around Brandon Park, through town and then to the restaurant of the riders' choice.
Mike Allison, Mike Kilmer and Tara Proctor are the people behind the reins. The three run the business, take care of the horses and drive the carriages around town.
Kilmer had the idea to start the company. He had previously done low impact logging with horses when he decided he wanted to try something different. He called up Allison with the idea and then the two began searching for carriages.
After finding their signature white carriage online, the group began looking for a location for their business.
Allison said they wanted to operate out of somewhere downtown, but weren't sure where to look. Each one put out calls to real estate agents. One pointed Allison in the direction of the 112 Dubois St. location, and it was the perfect fit.
"We got a great price on it. This place is awesome," Allison said.
After acquiring the property, they built stalls for the horses and converted the space to fit their needs.
According to Allison, they've seen a host of clients, from young girls celebrating their birthdays to a couple celebrating the 60th anniversary of the day they met.
For Allison, the people make it all worth it.
"All of our customers keep us going," he said. "It doesn't matter how bad your day is personally, as soon as you hop in the carriage, you have a smile on your face."
He shared that many people smile, wave and take photos of the carriages as they're riding through town.
Riding through town is one of the main ways the company attracts new business.
Many people spot the carriage and the Billtown Buggies name and number and call in. Their other main source of advertising is a Facebook page.
As business continues successfully, the company is looking to expand. Allison said they hope to one day employ others and have an office and locker room inside their current building as well as building more stalls for horses. The business currently has two carriages and are working on fixing up a third. One day, they hope to have more carriages and are looking into buying a Cinderella carriage for weddings and possibly hearse carriages for funerals.
In the future, Allison said he hopes to branch off and create another venture that offers guided trail rides.
Those interested in booking a carriage ride may call 570-772-1079.