Giddy Up

That’s the name of a new local bus company, profiled in our paper’s business section. Not the kind of story I’d normally read, but it was a lazy day. And this gave me an emotional lift!

The Saratoga race track is around an hour from Albany; and of course parking is a hassle. Comes young Tracy Cornwell wondering, “why isn’t there a better way?” You might think some bus company would be running shuttles. But no. So Cornwell decided to.

Photo by John Carl D'Annibale, Times-Union

Photo by John Carl D’Annibale, Times-Union

She’s a college grad who spent two years working on cruise ships. Her venture into the bus business was no mere lark. Cornwell raised $25,000 to $30,000 in start-up capital, attended a ten-week “entrepreneur boot camp,” researched her market carefully, made deals with some hotels as pick-up points, bought a bus and refurbished it to be a festive “party bus,” and hired drivers. Ticket prices are a down-to-earth $10 each way.

While reading, I was (as often) asking myself, “can she actually make money?” at that price point – considering all the investment, running costs, wages, insurance, promotion, etc. But Cornwell does seem to have scoped out her business plan intelligently. Her bus is mostly running full.

We keep hearing how bad the economy is, how tough for young graduates. So it’s great to read about a young gal who seems to have all the old fashioned virtues, a go-get-‘em entrepreneurial spirit, and to be headed for success.

I’m sooo sick of hearing “capitalism” and the market economy badmouthed. Tracy Cornwell epitomizes what it’s truly all about: improving people’s lives. Cornwell saw a way to provide a service people would want. If she can make a profit providing it, that’s great, because otherwise would it be provided? Profit is not a dirty word.*

Tracy Cornwell: my tip of the hat to you. May you have all the success in the world.

(Click here for Giddy Up’s website.)

images* I recently met a women who was all against capitalism; she favored instead a barter economy. I wanted to ask her, how did you get to this party? By car perchance? Do you think a barter economy could produce cars? But I held my tongue and smiled. (Well, possibly I rolled my eyes.)

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2 Responses to “Giddy Up”

  1. Wolfgang Says:

    Frank- Have you heard Tim Minchin’s piece called “Storm”?
    Very apropo.

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