Zipcars have arrived in Wichita.
The car rental company signed a deal with Southwest Airlines in October to provide memberships to its 45,000 employees and supply them with cars in places they may go.
So the Boston-based Zipcar is putting vehicles in a lot of markets where it hasn’t previously been but where Southwest employees travel to. That includes a lot of hotels where those employees regularly stay.
In Wichita, that’s the Drury Plaza Hotel Broadview.
“That way they’ll have wheels when they want them,” says Ryan Wagner, general manager of Wichita’s Car Park, which manages the Drury’s parking garage.
There’s now a Mazda3 and Hyundai Elantra for any Zipcar users to use at the Drury’s garage near Douglas and Waco.
“It’s going to be a nice benefit for any folks that stay at the Drury,” Wagner says.
“Any local person in Wichita is welcome to use the Zipcars as well,” says Zipcar spokeswoman Lindsay Wester.
First, though, potential members have to sign up and be approved through the company’s website.
Zipcar has more than 10,000 vehicles internationally and more than 900,000 members. It’s particularly popular in large cities where residents may only infrequently need cars.
Wester says there are no plans to add more Zipcars in Wichita, but she says that could change based on how much the first two cars are used.
“We grow from the inside out.”