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Wheelchair Getaways


Wheelchair Getaways was founded in 1988 in Pennsylvania by J. Edward Van Artsdalen who, with his father and grandfather, had many years of experience in the transportation industry. Mr. Van Artsdalen’s goal to make accessible van rental services available to as many persons as possible was realized in 1989 when he began a national franchise. From that humble beginning, Wheelchair Getaways has emphasized quality service in transportation. Though ownership has changed over the years, Wheelchair Getaways continues to respond with undivided commitment to the needs of persons in wheelchairs and scooters. Wheelchair Getaways is a proven leader in accessible van rental and will lead the industry for many years to come.

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Facts & Figures

Liquid capital required
$40,000 - $112,000
Franchise fee
Units in operation


In 1921 the Pennsylvania-based Van Artsdalen Express was a successful freight company. By 1972, it had been restructured to operate school buses instead of trucks. While working for the company, J. Edward Van Artsdalen noticed that people using wheelchairs were some of the most poorly served individuals in the transportation market. Motivated by this discovery, Van Artsdalen founded Wheelchair Getaways Inc. in 1988. The company rents wheelchair-accessible vans to individuals and groups. The company began franchising in 1989 and was purchased by J. Stewart and Jean Gatewood in 1994. Wheelchair Getaways is now based in Versailles, Kentucky and owned by Richard Gatewood and Moon Ko.

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