Small Business Spotlight: New York Adventure Club Explores Hidden Gems Of The City

Joe Connolly
December 11, 2019 - 5:00 am
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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — What started as a Facebook group is now a nationally expanding business with more than 14,000 members.

New York Adventure Club curates unique New York City experiences. 

It's not a tourist company, though. 

"There are a lot of people in the New York City area who are looking for something interesting to do, something different," founder Corey William Schneider tells Joe Connolly in this week's Small Business Spotlight, sponsored by BNB Bank — "Community Banking From Montauk To Manhattan." "A lot of new Yorkers have been to all the touristy places in the city and if it's your first time here you should be going to the Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, but if you live here or you've been here more than once and you're looking to really dig deeper and get to know the story of New York that's where New York Adventure Club comes in."

They find hidden gems in the Big Apple that even life-long New Yorkers would get a thrill out of.

New York Adventure Club first started by hosting up to two events a week, and now six years after launching as a group on Facebook, they host as many as 20 events a week.

They've grown to 14,000 members simply by word of mouth.

"There have been some limited paid marketing campaigns but it really has grown from word of mouth and there's pros and cons to that. A con would be it's a slower growth, it's slow and linear, but the flip side is that this is all self funded, there's no investors, so there's no one that wants to make their returns the next year or two so that allows this to grow with integrity and grow the way it should."

While membership is free, all it takes is subscribing to a newsletter, those who find an event of interest must pay for each experience, which includes visits to abandoned locations that typically aren't accessible to the public. 

Schneider said the club has a couple hundred different partnerships in place from individuals with interesting apartments to institutions like the Guggenheim.

One of their most best-selling tours is an Urasenke tea ceremony.

"The most authentic Urasenke center outside of Kyoto is right here in New York, it's in the Upper East Side in a former carriage house that was the art studio Mark Rothko for a year or two," Schneider said. "You walk in and it looks like a standard lobby, nothing fancy, but once you slide open the back door it opens up into this two-story atrium and there's almost a a small Japanese tea ceremony village there with the tea ceremony rooms and there's a garden in the middle and I think it defines what a hidden gem is of New York."

While they've expanded to the suburbs including Long Island, Westchester and parts of New Jersey, Schneider said their future goal is to expand to other cities.

"A lot of other cities suffer from the lack of unique experiences and expertise that really speak toward what that city's identity," he said.

Watch the video above to see how New York Adventure Club has monetized the New York City experience.