The idea for a rooftop bar tour came to Kaye Bentley after she visited two rooftop bars in Asheville in the summer of 2017. Living in Asheville and still working for the US Postal Service at the time, Kaye loved how she felt surrounded by the history you can see and feel from the rooftops. She began planning to retire from her 38-year career of delivering mail with the Postal Service and pursue her passion for sharing this experience with others, and Asheville Rooftop Bar Tours was born.
Kaye started Asheville Rooftop Bar Tours in 2018 with tours that showcase Asheville’s highly acclaimed rooftop bars and hand-crafted drinks with stunning views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the city’s Art Deco buildings, combined with Asheville’s fascinating city history.
Little known fact or trivia about your company.
We are truly Asheville-based. From our branding and web design, to our merch to our printed materials – we are happy to say that everything for Asheville Rooftop Bar Tours comes from local companies! We’ve discovered that the customer service from staying local and cultivating relationships far outweighs any savings from using chains or cheap options for running our business!
Plus: A TripAdvisor 2020 and 2021 Travelers’ Choice Award recipient for Top 10% of Attractions Worldwide,. Asheville Rooftop Bar Tours has been featured on WRAL-TV’s The Tarheel Traveler, in AARP’s Encore Entrepreneur Corner, in Reader’s Digest, and on MSN.com, Garden & Gun Magazine, Go World Travel Magazine, WLOS ABC News 13 and more.
What are you most proud of about the company?
We are proud to continue to pay our employees a living wage as established by Just Economics WNC, thus helping our team live in the community they love.
Best advice you’ve gotten for operating a small business.
Be patient and be flexible! We had to get creative and really focus on patience in order to survive the pandemic. We are continuing to get through it, though, and we are grateful for our customers and also that we were able to have more time to support our community when things were at their worst!
Tips for other small businesses?
The local community where you live and work matters. Find as many ways possible to support it, be involved, and give back to it as much as you can. Also, let your employees know how much you appreciate them in small and in big ways.
What’s next on the horizon?
Inviting in more collaborations with local businesses. We’re also excited to share that with the addition of another van to our fleet, we can now offer more private group tours for locals and visitors.
Our tagline is “Together, We Are More”. How does that apply to your business or what does it mean to you?
I think this matters both within our business and also in terms of how Asheville Rooftop Bar Tours relates to the larger community. Within our business, we are more when our employees feel a sense of belonging, safety, and togetherness. It’s important to me to make sure everyone who works for Asheville Rooftop Bar Tours feels like they are part of a team and can truly be who they are. When one of us is down, the others can come in and support! Asheville Rooftop Bar Tours is also “more” when we are collaborating with other Asheville-area businesses. Case and point, our rooftop partners are the backbone of our ability to thrive! Even more than that, the small business community is an invaluable resource, which we could not have survived the pandemic without.