Mark Derho and BIKE RENT NYC

Mark-and-Marketing-Team-NYC-
It is fair and accurate to say that I both changed and modernized the New York City and Central Park bike rental industry. I often had help and a great team of wonderful talented people from over the world.

Consultanting Executive VP Operations / Marketing (2010-2015)

In July 2015 I rebranded Sayat Bike as Bike Rent NYC and took the lead as the business decision-maker, second only to the Owner. This is relevant because over +40 million tourists a year come to Central Park. I directly led putting many millions of them on rental bikes, and a bit more.

During my entire tenure there, I dominated the NYC Bike Rental market in terms of sales, bikes rented, services provided, partners attracted, and other factors.

– Mark Derho

Winning the Central Park Bike War!

Defeating the Illegal Bike Hustlers of Central Park

I approached the situation and strategized as if this was war.

Intimidation and violence were the norm.

We hired 100 Adult Irish College Students on J1 Summer Work Visas, gave them a sign with a stick, added a generous commission, and provided them the lucrative option to work in Columbus Circle… in packs of five for protection against assault. Team leaders wore body cameras. The result was the rightful bike rental domination of Columbus Circle as the only legitimate tax-paying vendor. Columbus Circle is the gateway to Central Park for +40 million people annually.

On more than one occasion the police would arrest an offender, then the offender’s peer groups (the drunks, the pedicab drivers, and the bike hustlers) would intervene, then the Bike Rent NYC crew would aide the Police Officers, resulting in literal +50 person fist fights inside Central Park next to Columbus Circle. The Central Park Bike War was fought by me from 1/2015 to 10/2017.

In 2015 this was a technically immature industry, with no tech or website prowess or players. Dominated by the violent “Street Hustlers”, and a predominately cash business”. The little-known fact was that there was somewhere between $5-$6 million a year being spent in 2015, growing to between $6 to $7 million in total bike rentals in 2016 –  all spent on bike rental by tourists in-and-around Central Park and 70%-80% in cash. The illegal vendor-supporting stores are cashing in and the Bike Hustlers are going home with $350-$500 tax-free cash every day. 


I knew because we hired people to sit there and count, and I extrapolated and analyzed data and generated the reporting that determined our eventual winning RFP offer to the City of New York and the NYC Parks & Recreation Department.

Here’s a NY Post Article Excerpt

https://nypost.com/2017/08/05/illegal-bike-hustlers-harass-tourists-threaten-legal-vendor-employees/

It’s chaos at Columbus Circle, as brazen, brawling bike hawkers harass tourists, curse passersby and threaten employees of the sole legal bike vendor in Central Park.

The hustlers, who camp out along the southern entrances of the park, seek to intercept customers to the city concessionaire and steer them to the four or five bike shops off the park. Waving placards and yelling come-ons, they intimidate anyone who tries to stop them.

“They’re hustling bikes and hustling people. Visitors to New York City shouldn’t be scared of entering Central Park,” fumed Mark Derho of Bike Rent NYC, who charges the bike vultures are ruining his business.

“This is worse than what the desnudas are doing. They are stealing money from New York City taxpayers and a legitimate concessionaire. My life is threatened every single day. What’s it going to take? Is somebody going to have to get stabbed?”

Derho said the illegal vendors and “crazies” who hang with them have threatened him with knives, metal chairs, and beatings. He also said his female employees have been sexually harassed.

Read the whole story in the NY Post Article: “Illegal Bike Hustlers Harass Tourists Threaten Legal Vendor Employees“.

Constantinople & Vallone Was Our Lobbyist Firm

Mark Derho with Peter Vallone Sr.

Mark Derho with Peter Vallone Sr.

3-D Rendering of Central Park Kiosk before building.

Bringing Awareness and Confronting Danger of Illegal Bike Hustlers to Our Employees – Project Defense Against The Offensive”, conceived and led by Mark Derho.

Video by Mark Derho
Project and Video by Mark Derho
Project and Video by Mark Derho
Project and Video by Mark Derho

During a three-hour visit to the area last week, more than a dozen of the 50 or so hawkers were spotted.

“Don’t get it from here because it costs you a lot of money! Across the street you get a good deal!” trumpeted one wiry huckster who identified himself as “Ousmane.”

Welcome to the CENTRAL PARK BIKE WARS

ABC Channel 7 News Article

https://abc7ny.com/amp/new-york-city-central-park-columbus-circle-bicycle/2584270/

By CeFaan Kim

Monday, October 30, 2017

Mark Derho ABC Channel 7 News

I Have a Two Person Police Escort At All Times When In Central Park

You can see other Illegal Bike Hustlers circling the Police Officers. You can hear the racial comments. I dealt with this every day. Before I came they ran fearlessly and rampant, often fighting amongst themselves. Fortunately, nothing much happened this day however this was not always the case.

It’s chaos at Columbus Circle, as brazen, brawling bike hawkers harass tourists, curse passersby and threaten employees of the sole legal bike vendor in Central Park.

The hustlers, who camp out along the southern entrances of the park, seek to intercept customers to the city concessionaire and steer them to the four or five bike shops off the park. Waving placards and yelling come-ons, they intimidate anyone who tries to stop them.

Video by Mark Derho

“They’re hustling bikes and hustling people. Visitors to New York City shouldn’t be scared of entering Central Park,” fumed Mark Derho of Bike Rent NYC, who charges the bike vultures are ruining his business.

“This is worse than what the desnudas are doing. They are stealing money from New York City taxpayers and a legitimate concessionaire. My life is threatened every single day. What’s it going to take? Is somebody going to have to get stabbed?”

Derho said the illegal vendors and “crazies” who hang with them have threatened him with knives, metal chairs, and beatings. He also said his female employees have been sexually harassed.

During a three-hour visit to the area last week, more than a dozen of the 50 or so hawkers were spotted.

“Don’t get it from here because it costs you a lot of money! Across the street you get a good deal!” trumpeted one wiry huckster who identified himself as “Ousmane.”

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