Beach'N Buggys rents beach wheelchairs in Orange Beach, Alabama, and Gulf Shores, Alabama.By John Mullen

October 5, 2018 – Orange Beach, AL (OBA®) – Having access to the beach for handicapped vacationers can be a game changer for many potential travelers.

“We have so many people we service and people are changing their vacation plans,” Beach’N Buggys co-owner Marie Palmer said. “They’ve been able to see the beach but they’ve never been able to get onto the beach and it’s absolutely amazing.”

Palmer and her husband Chance Blaker have been in the business of making and selling the buggies with balloon-like tires that can make the beach accessible to more people since about 2010. About a year ago they went into the rental business and have about six in the fleet.

Recently Tacky Jacks restaurants and Beach’N Buggys teamed up to provide U.S. veterans with access to one of their chairs during their beach vacations. The restaurant purchased materials for chair and Blaker built it and painted it in Tacky Jacks’ color scheme. Veterans get a break on the rental fee when they ask for the chair.

Beach'N Buggys rent beach wheelchairs in Gulf Shores, Alabama, and Orange Beach, Alabama.“With Tacky Jacks, we’re able to help veterans because we have a lot of people who call and say we just really can’t afford your costs,” Palmer said. “With Tacky Jacks going ahead and purchasing a chair that’s a big, big discount. We still do taxes and a delivery fee which is $50. That’s a savings of about $65 for one day, a tremendous savings. I think that brings it down to where everybody can use it. It’s wonderful to see.”

Tacky Jacks is no stranger to helping veterans and wounded warriors with mobility. The restaurant has for years worked with the Wounded Warrior Project and Marine League to purchase chairs for veterans in need. Most of those have been all-terrain chairs for veterans to hunt and fish. And, while they work well on the ground they are hard to transport and handle. The restaurant has donated a total of four chairs to veterans, three all-terrain ones and one beach buggy.

“After doing that we kind of looked around and were listening to the people we were giving the chairs to and we were finding that there’s more interest in the beach buggies than the all-terrain for a bunch of reasons,” Tacky Jacks CFO Ken Kichler said. “It’s bulky, it’s hard storing them and it is a lot more challenging than the beach buggy.”

Tacky Jacks and Beach’N Buggys owners Palmer and Blaker first came together in 2016 when the beach buggy chair was given to a woman veteran from Pensacola. She said going to the beach and watching the Blue Angels was why she wanted the added mobility.

“Scooter Frederickson with the Marine League introduced me to these guys and we talked about could we use the chairs they made for this lady,” Kichler said. “The lady that we got identified as a local candidate she wanted more of what he did so Scooter hooked us up with him and he built the chair. He custom painted it with a Blue Angels design.”

It wasn’t Palmer’s and Blaker’s first involvement with veterans groups. While building and selling the chairs since 2010 the have also been involved in helping get chairs for 15 veterans.

“I’ve got a buddy of mine from St. Pete, Florida and he saw what I was doing about seven years ago,” Blaker said. “He wanted to know if he were to raise all the money just to cover the parts if I would build it for free and we could donate it to a veteran and I said sure.”

Blaker said he wasn’t expecting the hear back soon because of the cost.

“I laughed because it’s about $3,000 just in parts,” he said. “About three months later he called and said, ‘I’ve got the money, get to work.’ He started a 501(c) just so he could buy the chairs from me so when people donate they can get a tax write off. He’s getting a lot of donations from other people now.

“A year later he called me back and said you want to do it again. This time it was like two weeks and he had the money and said start building. I’m on number 15 now.”

Blaker has built and sold 60 to 70 of the beach buggies over the years including two beach services in California that rent them in four-hour increments.

By spring break the duo hopes to have 12 chairs in the rental fleet. For more information and rental rates, visit Beach'N Buggys online or call them at 251-978-8051.

 Julie Canevari of Pensacola received a Beach'N Buggys chair in November of 2016.