Updated: 05/29/2014 6:48 PM |
Created: 05/29/2014 6:45 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4
Back in March he was on the brink of losing his livelihood – now Old Town Albuquerque’s longtime Pedicab tour guide has won a cherished honor in the tourist trade.
Okay, it’s not a World Series ring or an Academy Award, but if you make your living in the tourist trade, it’s definitely something you want. Michael Whitney, owner and sole employee of Old Town Pedicab, is now the proud winner of a “certificate of excellence” from the global travel tips website TripAdvisor.com. The award is based on tourist reviews posted on the wildly popular website.
“I was pretty shocked, but I’m happy that I won it,” Michael said today, pausing to talk while pedaling a couple from Dayton, Ohio on a one hour tour of Old Town.
“I know that a lot of tourists use TripAdvisor.”
Michael’s passengers were almost as stoked as he was.
“This just seemed like the perfect thing to do,” said Vita Eonta. “It seemed like a great way to see Old Town Albuquerque.”
“Based on his knowledge of the area and what we’ve learned today about Albuquerque, we plan on giving him a very good rating on TripAdvisor when we get home,” said John Eonta.
In early March Michael’s $5,000 four-wheel bike was stolen, but Eyewitness News 4 viewers saw photos of the vehicle on the noon news and immediately began calling police dispatchers with updated reports as the bandit rode it all over town. Cops busted him eventually and Michael got his bike back – now, out of the blue, comes the honor from TripAdvisor that will surely steer more tourists towards the Old Town Pedicab. Will Michael go Hollywood on us?
“No, no, I’m not looking to get rich,” Michael told us. “I’m happy when I have enough money to put dinner on the table and have a place to live, so I’m still gonna be here!”
And that’s good news for Old Town, where Michael Whitney has been pedaling away for 17 years.