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Resorts show guests grounds with Segway tours

Associated Press Modified: October 2, 2012 at 2:31 pm •  Published: October 2, 2012

NEW YORK (AP) — Some couples celebrate their anniversary with a horse-drawn carriage ride. Others rent a romantic cabin in the woods. A few even jet off to Las Vegas and renew their vows in front of Elvis.

Lori Kelly and her husband Gene recently marked their second anniversary by touring the woods of the Omni Bedford Springs Resort & Spa on a Segway.

"It was absolutely fantastic. It is really the ultimately unique experience especially for people my age," said Kelly, 59. Her husband is 64. "It gives you the flavor of adventure with very little threat of injury."

The Segway, first introduced a decade ago as an alternative mode of personal transportation, is getting a new life at a growing number of resorts around the world. For those not familiar with the two-wheeled electric vehicle, it works like this: Lean forward to move forward. Lean backward to go in reverse. Move the handlebars, and it turns left or right. Pretty simple.

The device never quite took off as an everyday way to get around, but it has found a niche replacing city walking tours and helping security guards patrol local shopping malls. And now hotels with sprawling grounds are finding the Segway to be a great way to show guests around their properties. Plus, the devices are still quirky enough to be an attraction in their own right.

"You don't need any special skills to navigate around on it," said Kelly, the executive director of the American Red Cross in West Virginia.

She and her husband traveled in mid-September from their home in Shepherdstown, W.Va. to Pennsylvania resort for a two-night getaway. They shopped, sat by the hotel's fire pits, played horseshoes and had a romantic anniversary dinner.

But what really made the trip unique was the 90-minute, off-road Segway tour for $90.

"Once you mastered it, you felt very, very comfortable about it," she said.

Lois Crosby, 62, recently hopped on a Segway at the Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, Va. She was there, joining her husband on a business trip.

"All the other people in my group went golfing and I'm not a golfer," said Crosby, of Germantown, Tenn. So she spent $65 for the 90-minute tour. "It's a lot of fun. It's really a lot of fun."

Part of the excitement is just the novelty of the Segway.

"Neither of us had been on a Segway before but they looked fun," said John Wilson, 50, who recently did a tour with his wife Melissa at The Homestead Resort in Hot Springs, Va.

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