Types of Mobility Devices Available
Chautauqua Institution offers a number of mobility devices for rental. These devices include:
- Electric mobility scooters (single user and two-user devices)
- Transport wheelchairs (pushed by someone else other than the user)
- Self-propelled wheelchairs (operated by the user)
- Mobility Walkers
- “Knee Scooter”
All devices are available for rent between May 1–September 30, and while the Athenaeum Hotel is open for regular operations. We do our best to avoid waitlists by expanding our inventory as demand for scooters grows. Early reservations are recommended. For more information, please contact Chautauqua’s Information Office at 716-357-6250 (Option 7). Guests at the Athenaeum hotel can reserve devices when booking their rooms, or please call 800-821-1881 or email email@example.com.
Patrons can let their ticket agent know that they are interested in renting a mobility device for one week or more when purchasing gate passes. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org to put your name on a list of those interested in renting. The Institution will start taking reservations on May 1, 2023. If you have already let our staff know that you are interested in renting a mobility device for one week or longer, we will start contacting patrons starting May 1, 2023. We have recently expanded to a brand-new fleet of thirty-nine scooters (up from 28 scooters in the past), and this fleet includes two tandem scooters. “Daily” and “Concert” rentals are available on a first-come, first-served basis at the Chautauqua Ticket Office and the Athenaeum Hotel, and subject to availability.
Mobility Scooter Policies
The Institution’s policies on the operation of Mobility Scooters and privately owned devices are available here.
Safe Operations & Daily Care Instructions for Mobility Devices
The safe operation of all mobility devices and some ongoing daily care of the device (such as charging the scooter) are the responsibilities of the user, and if applicable, any other person or aide operating the device (such as a person pushing a wheelchair or an aide operating a “tandem scooter”). Please see our safety and daily care tips here.
Other rental information
- Weekly rental pick up time can be anytime between 11 a.m.–8 p.m.; Please specify during booking.
- There are no partial refunds for late pick-ups, no-shows, or early returns.
- Single user scooters are rated for up to 325lb and 400lb capacity. Please specify capacity preference when booking. Tandem scooters are rated for a total of 600lb capacity for both users together.
- “Season rentals” include any consecutive period of 12 weeks, on or off-season.
- “Extended season rental” available May 1–September 30. Includes on-grounds delivery and pick up of device.
|Rental Duration||Single User Scooter||Tandem Scooter|
|Season (any 9–12 consecutive weeks)||$1,800||$3,375|
|Extended Season (May 1–Sept. 30)||$2,200||$3,775|
|*Daily (4+ hours, return by midnight)||$60||$100|
|*Concert (up to 4 hours)||$40||$80|
*Daily & Concert Rentals cannot be reserved in advance and are available on a first-come, first-served basis only, and subject to availability.
Wheelchairs, Walkers and Knee Scooters
Additional Charges or Fees
The following fees are only applicable if any of the rental items are lost or damaged. The “uncharged device assistance” fee is only applicable if the user fails to charge the device and requires assistance from Institution staff to make the device charged and mobile again.
Additional Lost Item or Repair Costs
|Replacement Scooter Cover||$100|
|Replacement Tiller Cover||$30|
|Replacement Extension Cord||$40|
|Uncharged Device Assistance||$50/occurrence|
|Late Return Fee||$25/hr (Max $100/day)|
|Damage to Scooter/Chair||Exact billed amount from repairs|
|Cancellation Fee (less than 1 week notice)||$75 or 10% of total rental cost, whichever is greater|
|Device returned without full charge (does not apply to “daily” or “concert” rentals)||$25|
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I reserve my mobility device in advance?
Yes, a weekly rental may be reserved in advance. “Concert Rentals” (limited to four hours of use) and “Daily Rentals” (any period between 1–6 days of use) are available only on a first-come, first-served basis, and are subject to availability. We start taking reservations for all mobility devices starting May 1, 2023. If you are interested in renting a mobility device, please let your ticket agent know when purchasing your gate passes, or you may email email@example.com to be placed on a list of people who will be contacted to complete their reservation. If you have not heard from us by mid-May, please be in touch with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Will I receive any training or instructions on how to operate the scooter?
Yes, everyone renting a scooter will receive training on how to safely operate the scooter when you pick it up. Please ask our staff if you have any questions. You can always contact our staff even after your pick up if you have questions about the safe operation of your device.
Where do I pick up and return the scooters (or other mobility devices)?
Scooters and other mobility devices are available for pick-up at the Main Gate Welcome Center (1 Massey Ave, Chautauqua, NY). A limited number of devices are also available at the Athenaeum Hotel and will be primarily available for guests of the hotel. However, if you are not a guest of the hotel, you may ask the hotel staff if they have any devices available. Please make sure to return your device where you picked it up. Scooters may be picked up between 11 a.m.–8 p.m. for weekly (or more) rentals and must be returned by 10 a.m. on the day of return listed on your contract. (Note: Concert or Daily rentals may be picked up as early as 8 a.m., subject to availability.)
What items are included with a scooter rental?
Each rental comes with a key, full scooter cover, a “tiller cover” (that goes over the handlebars) for use during light rainfall, and a charger with a six-foot cord. Extension cords and some accessories (like a cane holder) may be requested at the time of pick up and are subject to availability.
Who can rent a tandem scooter?
Tandem scooters are only available for rentals for those who are unable to operate a single-user mobility scooter safely on their own and require another person or aid to operate such a device. The renter will be asked to attest to this in the rental agreement form. The Institution reserves the right to require documentation from a qualified medical professional attesting that a person is unable to safely operate such a device due to medical reasons or disability. The nature of the medical condition or disability does not need to be disclosed to the Institution. Tandem scooters may also be rented by single users who weigh between 400-600 lbs.
What if I have an issue with my scooter or mobility device?
All of our mobility devices are brand new, and we do not anticipate any breakdown issues. If you experience any issues with the scooter, please visit the place where you rented the scooter. You can also call the Welcome Center (open 8 a.m.–8 p.m. daily, including weekends) at 716-357-6250 (Option 7). The Athenaeum front desk can assist customers that rent directly from the hotel and is open 24 hours/day during the season. For after-hours issues, please call Campus Safety & Security at 716-357-6225. We will guarantee repair or replacement of your scooter within 24 hours if there is a mechanical concern. If we are unable to meet this replacement timeline, we will issue you a refund for one week (if rented for one week or more), or the full cost of your rental (if rented for less than one week).
Where can I charge my device?
All scooters come fully charged and include a charger with a six-foot cord. All renters who are renting a device for more than one day are expected to charge their device and return the device on full charge. Most housing rental units on the Institution grounds will have access to indoor or outdoor plugs to charge the device. Please contact your landlord for information on electrical outlets and the accessibility features of the unit in advance of your arrival. The chargers use a regular electrical outlet. Extension cords may be requested at the time of rental for free (available on a first-come, first-served basis). If you do not have a charging outlet available at your rental, please contact the ticketing office for information on our charging outlets. Guests at the Athenaeum Hotel may charge their scooters in their rooms, or if needed, the charging area by the bell desk. Please ask the bell desk for assistance.
I use a cane or walker. Can my scooter come with a cane or walker holder?
A limited number of cane and walker holders are available to be mounted to your device when you come to pick up the scooter. Please ask the staff person at the time of the rental. These cannot be reserved in advance.
Can my scooter be operated in rain?
The scooters may be operated in light rain if a “tiller cover” is used. This cover goes over the handlebar portion of your scooter. Each scooter is provided with a tiller cover. Failure to use this cover may result in severe damage to the electrical components of the scooter, and repair fees will be charged to the renter. Use of the scooter in heavy downpour is not recommended. Instead, please consider using the free bus or tram service provided by the institution on days when a heavy downpour is expected. Please remember to cover your entire scooter with the provided cover and charger if you must store it outdoors, even if no rain is predicted.
Can Tandem Scooters be used everywhere?
Tandem scooters seat two users side-by-side and tend to be wider than most standard doorways. Tandem scooters might not be able to go inside most Institution buildings simply because they are too wide or bulky to navigate indoor spaces. Tandem scooters can access the Amphitheater via gate 5 (near Athenaeum Hotel) for the lower bowl of the amp and can only be parked in “row L” (section between the lower and upper bowl). Please note that for popular events, the lower bowl is considered part of the premium seating, and an extra ticket may be required for access to the lower bowl. Tandem scooters may need to be parked outside of the amp for those wishing to use the upper bowl of the amp (sections 6-23).
What kinds of scooters are available for rent at the Institution? Do you run out of scooters?
The institution has expanded it mobility scooter fleet from 28 (in 2022) to 39 devices (2023) with the goal of eliminating any waitlists for scooter rentals. All devices are brand new and were purchased in 2023. The Institution currently owns the following:
• Nine Pride Mobility Gogo-Sport model scooters (325 lb. user capacity)
• Twenty-seven Pride Mobility Victory Ten model scooters (400 lb. user capacity)
• Two Afikim S-4 Wide Seat Tandem Scooters (2 users, combined capacity of 600 lbs., 33” wide seat)
Does the Institution partner with an outside company to provide scooters? Who maintains them?
To meet the growing demand for mobility devices, the Institution is launching a new fleet of 39 new scooters (up from 28 scooters) that we own, maintain, and rent directly to patrons. The Institution does not partner with an outside company for scooter or wheelchair rentals. Scooters are maintained during the summer assembly by our staff who have decades of experience working with mobility scooters. All scooters are inspected by a certified technician at the start of every rental season. Mechanical issues or repairs are conducted by certified technicians.
By what time do I need to return the device?
To ensure proper and timely exchange of devices so that our next renters are guaranteed a timely pick-up of their device, all devices must be returned according to the following schedule:
• “Concert rentals” must be returned within 4 hours
• “Daily rentals” must be returned by midnight. If the Welcome Center is closed, please make sure to cover the scooter and drop off the key in the drop box located at the entrance of the Welcome Center
• “Weekly” & “Seasonal” rentals must be returned by 10 a.m. on the return date. This will give us time to clean and maintain the device for the next customer. Please make sure that your device is fully charged upon return.
Late returns will be charged a late return fee at $25/hr., up to a maximum of $100/day.
Can I cancel my reservation? Can I get a refund for late pick-up or early return?
All reservations can be cancelled up to 7 days before the rental start period for a full refund. Cancellations within seven days of the rental start period will incur a $75 cancellation fee for any weekly rentals booked for 1 to 2 weeks, or 10% of the total rental fee for rentals booked longer than 2 weeks. There are no partial refunds for late pick-ups, no-shows, or early returns.
My insurance covers the cost of scooter rentals. Can the Institution bill my insurance?
We are unable to bill insurance companies, Medicare or Medicaid directly. However, we will provide you with a receipt for your rental and you can work with your provider directly to seek any eligible reimbursements.
When and how do I pay?
The full cost of the rental will be due at the time of booking to secure your reservation. Please review our cancellation policies listed above. We accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express or Discover cards for payment.