The Buenos Aires Pub Crawl, truly one of a kind
There are over 100 people crowded around in a half circle in Plaza Armenia in the Palermo Viejo neighborhood of Buenos Aires. They are drinking beer and wine and grabbing slices of pizza, discussing their ascent too the ruins at Machu Picchu, the beauty of Igauzu falls and the amazing Bolivian salt flats. It is an international melting pot, drunken 20 and 30 something’s from all around the world meeting at the corner of Armenia and Costa Rica street to head out to 4 different drinking venues as one massive group.
This isn’t just a random party that came together perfectly, in fact it is much the opposite. Every Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday you can find similar groups making their way through the streets on the way to their next watering hole. The drunken debauchery is kept in control by 10 or so Pub Crawl employees rounding the herds of travelers and locals up and making sure there is no pub crawler left behind.
As with many good business ideas, this intriguing business was born out of spotting a need and providing a solution. After traveling in Buenos Aires and falling in love with the city, two entrepreneurs and fraternity brothers from Georgia, came to the realization that there wasn’t a pub crawl yet in the city of Buenos Aires and yet there we’re thousands and travelers, expats and locals who would enjoy having one.“ We thought, they need this, they don’t know they need it, but they do.” Roger explained. After 2 months of preparation Dustin and Roger held their first Pub Crawl in November of 2007.
Through necessity, they soon learned that business here in Buenos Aires was based on relationships, more than anything else. Building trust with local businesses has been one of their greatest assets. “Being on time, ethical, and forming great relationships with customers, bars, restaurants and clubs really set us apart” Roger said in our interview last month. This method has served them quite well as their business has blossomed into a mainstay in the Buenos Aires night scene.
The pub crawl is especially popular among tourists coming into town who are looking to party with fellow travelers from around the world, however efforts are being made to attract the local 'Porteno' crowd as well. “We want to be known for throwing the best parties in Buenos Aires. We are known for the pub crawls and having a strong contingent of travelers, but we want to provide the same awesome events for the locals as well.” Dustin explained.
More and more locals seem to be catching on and the pub crawls continue to expand in size. Utilizing Facebook as a means of promoting their events has brought them to the next level. During each pub crawl along with the employees, a photographer accompanies the group snapping hundreds of photos of the night's festivities. The following day the photos will be posted on facebook, enabling the crawlers to tag themselves in the photos and share their experiences with their friends. An awesome feature providing the customers memories and the company a nice way of marketing to prospective clients.
Clearly these two business savvy pub crawlers have a bright future ahead. Already up and running strong, is a second Pub Crawl in Santiago, Chile. When asked about their future plans they remained mum on the details, but hinted that further expansion was definitely in the cards. With an excellent business model that can be replicated in other locations along the tourist trail in South America, things seem to be looking up in the near future.
Just launched was the all new pub crawl targeted toward the Gay community “out and about”. They are clearly not shy to put new ideas into action, something that has already paid big dividends for the Pub Crawl. Wanting to make an impact and do something for the devastated residents in Haiti after the horrific earthquake in January, the BA Pub Crawl team sprang to action, pooling their resources and connections together to host “Kick it for Haiti”, a soccer tournament to raise money for the effected victims. The successful event drew hundreds of people to help support the cause.
Innovation, follow through, building strong business relationships and giving something back are all things have set this company apart and helped them build this unique business. It is no wonder why these expat idealists have seen so much successful in this venture.
Personally I have been on the pub crawl a few times and it has never failed to impress. You can not beat free beer for an hour and a free shot at each bar. The staff is awesome and friendly, like some guys I’d hang out with back home. I don’t usually talk people up without pointing out the negatives here, but the truth is these guys run a tight ship and do things right. With the Pub Crawl, you are always a VIP and always have friends even if you are new in town. If you visit Buenos Aires or Santiago, it’s no doubt a must see. In fact, I’m leaving town this weekend and guess where I’m going tonight. Yup, the Palermo crawl, there is just no better way to party.