“Every morning there’d be five vehicles outside the house, blocking the street.”
Jared Brandvold’s inspiration came from the frustration of the morning after the night before.
Brandvold recalls his parents hosting parties in Yellowknife, only to find – after a few drinks – nobody could drive home.
“The next day, we had to give them rides and deal with vehicles not starting in minus-30, everything like that,” he recalls.
“That’s when we figured this would be a good market that no-one’s really taken advantage of yet.”
Brandvold and two partners have now launched Yellowknife Designated Drivers (YKDD), a service designed to bring both you and your vehicle home from the bar.
YKDD began operations earlier in April, after a short delay when arranging the correct insurance proved ‘hectic’.
The idea is that you can either book them ahead of time via their website or call them from the bar, and they’ll do the rest.
“We’ll drive in one vehicle, and we’ll pick you up and drive you back in the comfort of your own vehicle,” explains Brandvold.
“The YKDD car will follow behind and just pick up the driver once they’re at their destination.”
The service has two cars at its disposal to start, and Brandvold is keeping his day job for the time being – but he’s prepared to invest in more vehicles and employees if things take off.
“Pretty-much everyone we’ve talked to has been all for it,” he says.
“There’s a lot of support from different businesses. We’ve had great feedback.
“It’s a service that we feel could greatly benefit Yellowknife, especially in winter time. There might be a little more incentive for people to drive to the bar now, if they know they can get their vehicle home safely at the end of the night.”