How he rolls: Combo recliner, wheelchair gets man going

Posted February 4

— Guy Orvis, of Denver, turns heads wherever he goes. Primarily, that is because Orvis has become the man about town traveling via his La-Z-Boy wheelchair.

Orvis was getting a little stir crazy in his apartment building, so he decided to do something about it.

"There's not a lot of activities or anything to do here at the apartment building," he said. "Thus the La-Z-Boy."

Orvis spent a couple weekends taking an old wheelchair apart and mounting his recliner on the wheels and motor.

On sunny days, he cruises the streets at a steady 6.5 mph.

"Every man needs one of these," Orvis said. "It's the only way to travel. People just see it, they smile."

Even when the weather keeps him indoors, Orvis stays seated.

"You don't need to get up to go to the refrigerator to get a beer," he said. "Everybody wants a chair like that. It's great for football season."

Not satisfied with the attention he drew merely motoring about downtown, Orvis decided to make an even bigger visual statement. He added a fog machine on the back and the ability to pop a wheelie.

"It gets people wondering whether it's gas-powered or steam-powered or something," he said.

People seem to love it, reacting everywhere that Orvis goes.

To him, it is making the best of a bad situation. Years ago, Orvis was injured in a fall, ending his career and landing him on permanent disability. He can walk, but he struggles, especially over long distances.

"My regular chair won't make it real far, but this one will," he said.

So he manages to take his living room wherever he goes.

"Beats the hell outta walking huh?" Orvis asked.

He's begun making a business out of his ingenuity, building La-Z-Boy wheelchairs for others. He has a friend who uses a wheelchair and is working on one with a smaller recliner for her.

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  • Tim Orr Feb 4, 2017
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