How a Tourism Side Hustle Became a $1 Million a Year Business


Corey William Schneider had an early life crisis. Like many young New Yorkers, he spent most of his time working a monotonous marketing job that didn’t mean much to him, and he spent his free time in his “comfort zone” of familiar restaurants and bars with his friends, but he didn’t feel well fulfilled.

“I realized that this is the greatest city in the world, but I didn’t know anything about it. I was ashamed of it,” he says. “I felt like I wasn’t interesting. I wanted to be an expert in New York.”

So he made a pact. Every weekend he explored the city and ventured into a new cultural or historical place off the beaten track. But there was a problem: none of his friends wanted to join him. “The idea of ​​going to Flushing Queens at 10:00 am on a Saturday just wasn’t their idea of ​​fun,” says Schneider.

He started a Facebook group of like-minded travel nerds and announced that he would organize an excursion, book a private tour and even book van tickets. However, he feared he would be left behind because of the money he had to pay up front.

“I thought two or three people would do it,” he recalls. “But a hundred strangers joined the group and asked how to buy tickets.”

In a panic, Schneider asked Google how to sell tickets online. Google recommended Eventbritean event management and ticketing platform that allows users to browse, create and promote local events.

That was in 2013. The now 34-year-old tailor could not have guessed it at the time, but he had just laid the foundation for what would later become an extremely popular tourism company New York Adventure Clubwhich grossed over $1 million in 2022.

Related: A founder’s outsized side hustle helps small businesses — and it’s on track to make more than $50 million this year

Photo: Corey William Schneider courtesy of the New York Adventure Club

From food crawls to art tours

Schneider is now the CEO and Founder of New York Adventure Club, an in-person and virtual tourism and events company that caters to locals.

After two years of organizing events, he realized he had to give up his day job and turn his busy side hustle into a full-time job.

He sails a stern ship. The staff consists of him and a virtual assistant, but he also hires hundreds of private providers.

Each week, the New York Adventure Club sells tickets to over 20 virtual events Webinars like learning about New York’s famous Gilded Age through to personal events, such as a culinary discovery tour Chinatown’s “secret restaurants”.. The club also organizes social events and puzzle tours.

What sets New York Adventure Club apart from the hundreds of other tour companies is that it caters to a specific demographic — locals like tailors who want to get to know the city they love better.

“There are many organizations that cater to these first-time tourists. But if you’ve been to New York more than once and you’re looking for something different, we fill that niche,” says Schneider.

The New York Adventure Club’s 50,000 Eventbrite subscribers probably won’t find routine tours of the Statue of Liberty or the Empire State Building, but they will be able to get a peek behind the scenes New York’s red light district of yesteryear or a tour of The art lofts of TriBeCa.

secrets of success

Schneider points to several factors that helped him boost his tourism business.


“Organizing events involves a lot of baggage and brings with it many challenges, from logistics to customers. So at the end of the day, you want to make sure you’re doing something you’re passionate about,” says Schneider.

For him, that meant planning events he wanted to attend himself. Seeing himself as his company’s best client, Schneider uses his passion for New York and its history to inform his decisions about his itineraries and partners.


The logistics of a company hosting more than 20 events a week can be overwhelming. Schneider recommends working with third-party platforms that help take some of the organization burden off the company.

With Eventbrite, he can use the existing infrastructure to promote his events and sell tickets. Schneider is also there creator collective, an ambassador program that provides educational resources. He wrote last month a blog post about how he stays organized in such a small team.

“If I was just starting out, I would have really gotten into all these articles about the job of an event organizer and the different components of organizing events,” he says. “It’s not rocket science, but there’s a lot of detail, so having those resources is very important for someone who wants to go into space.”

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