Mendo Insider Tours
Owner: David Lipkind
This summer when you see the white tour van cruising up and down Highway One, don't be surprised when you also see it exploring the back roads. Mendo Insider Tours, a new company will offer visitors the chance to get inside the worlds of art and nature, the way the locals see it!
Founded by David Lipkind, Mendo Insider Tours will be taking exclusive groups for half day tours to visit home studios and workshops of top local artists. Nearly 15 artists, including sculptor John Fisher, painter Julie Higgins, and potters Cliff and Marion Glover will offer demonstrations and a look inside the creative process. "We are really excited about the tours," says Cliff Glover, "we sell a lot of our pieces in town, but we love talking to people and sharing the deeper meaning behind our work."
Inspired by his "off-the-beaten-path" travels and his deep respect for local artists, Lipkind felt that visitors needed a chance to get beyond Main Street and see the real Mendocino. "You can find beautiful art in galleries along the coast, but what we are offering people is the chance to really understand the story behind the artwork on a much more personal level," says Lipkind. A resident for over 25 years, Lipkind hopes that this new business will not only draw visitors, but increase exposure for local artists and help boost the local economy.
In addition to the art community, Lipkind has long been inspired by the sweeping natural beauty of the coast. In particular, the Lost Coast which is visited by only the few willing to brave the bumpy and unpaved road. Mendo Insider Tours will be taking visitors with knowledgeable local guides to this remote and isolated destination in comfort and safety. Once there they will enjoy the breath-taking panoramas and stunning wildlife. For a shorter trip, Mendo Insider Tours will offer a family-friendly Morning Bird Safari. This tour is great for beginning birders and younger travelers who will go with local guides on a learning journey inside the avian world of over 100 species in our coastal habitat.
The owner of two existing businesses, Lipkind is no stranger to the challenge of getting started. From his experience he knew this venture would be significantly more complex and sought advice from West Company, host of the Mendocino Small Business Development Center. "I thought David had a really interesting concept. In the beginning we worked on business feasibility and planning. Later we focused on marketing and operational policies," says Heather Gurewitz, who worked with David. "I really admire the work and perseverance David has put into this project. I think it could be a really important business for the coast in helping grow tourism and other art businesses," she added."West Company has been my guide through this process. I couldn't have gotten this far without them. They really helped me bring the idea into perspective and sort out the details necessary to bring it into reality," says Lipkind.
For more information, visit www.mendoinsidertours.com.
West Company is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.
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