Clean power is essential for fun times at Chattanooga-based Adventure Sports Innovation

Photography by Olivia Ross / Patrick Molloy, CEO and co-founder of Adventure Sports Innovation

When it comes to launching a business, fledgling entrepreneurs have a dizzying array of factors to consider. For Carolina and Patrick Molloy, co-owners of Adventure Sports Innovation (ASI), climate was at, or at least near, the top of the list.

"We met and married in Miami — too hot for me," he says, adding that his wife found it too cold in New York, where he lived during his 30-plus years in banking and finance.

So when the Molloys looked around for a place to start their own business, they found they liked the weather — and a lot more — in Chattanooga.

"It had most everything we were looking for — support for entrepreneurial ventures, good tourism economy and flow and a population eager for outdoor adventures," he says. "We love living here. It's everything we expected in terms of climate and friendly people in a smaller city."

For Patrick, the choice to build an outdoor-oriented business wasn't a stretch. He and a clutch of longtime friends try to get together each year for a sporting escapade.

"I love adventure sports — my favorite is downhill skiing, but I've also done bungee jumping, zip line courses and skydiving," he says. "I wanted to marry my desire for us to make our own decisions to something I have a passion for."

He says their group has landed in the Chattanooga area a couple of times.

"We learned one year how to roll whitewater kayaks on the Nantahala (River), about 45 minutes away," he says, "and we came here in the early 2000s to learn how to hang glide.

Patrick says ASI, which opened in 2018, offers a wide range of adventures and activities for individuals, friends and families, parties and corporate team-building.

"I ran sales teams and did lots of training," he says. "We've incorporated training sessions for field trips, and I love doing those sessions — it's about an hour of content, then two hours of playtime.

"Our customers run the whole range of backgrounds — no specific age, gender or background," he adds. "It's about trying something new, being adventurous."

The Molloys say they're supporters of activities that run on "clean" power, such as jet boards and hydrofoil electric surfboards.

"Electric power doesn't pollute and doesn't disturb others," says Patrick, adding that electric scooters and bikes are popular choices of late. He says that in addition to individual rentals, ASI offers guided tours including a 90-minute ChattaScooter Art Tour.

"It has nine to 12 stops at different murals and sculptures scattered around the city," he says. "They're all impressive, and they all have a story — everything from the big mural on the AT&T building to Faces on Frazier to the Ed Johnson Memorial and the (Bluff View Art District) Sculpture Garden."

The Molloys say they plan to expand their ChattaScooter tours this summer, with treks involving coffee, ice cream and breweries.

"There'll be a bit of a challenge on the brewery tour, to make sure people don't have too much along the way," Patrick says with a smile.

The "biggest product we have," he says, is the Swincar, an electric, four-wheel vehicle which, according to ASI's website, features "spider-like arms that move independently to tackle tough off-road terrain, working with the power of gravity and centrifugal force. The pendulum seat allows the driver to remain level and keeps all four wheels in contact with the ground on the steepest inclines and while climbing obstacles."

The Swincar was prominent in a 2022 episode of Discovery Channel's "RV There Yet?" as hosts Kevin and Patrice McCabe navigated woods on the west side of Lookout Mountain. The Malloys also sell Swincars — in fact, they say they're the lone North American distributor for the French-made vehicles, which sell for about $20,000.

"Not cheap, but in the same price range as other high-end off-roaders," Patrick says.

  photo  Photography by Olivia Ross / A roller coaster simulator is seen at Adventure Sports Innovation in Chattanooga.