Letter from the Editors — Winter 2022

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ADDRESSING THE INDUSTRY’S NEEDS 

Opportunities to share news, information, and innovations in the aerial adventure and experiential education realm are essential, especially now.

To that end, both ACCT and PRCA have scheduled in-person conferences this winter, albeit with Covid safety protocols in effect. Industry members that attend either event will once again benefit from the educational seminars, trade show, and conversations that take place. We need this exchange of knowledge.

That was also the reason Adventure Park Insider launched seven years ago. We saw a need, as commercial parks sprouted and expanded and innovation flourished, for greater communication among operators. And we’ve come to find the established experiential programs and summer camps benefit from our reporting as well.

This issue of the magazine showcases our mission in several ways. Standards and best practices continue to evolve as adventure parks introduce new concepts and the industry matures. Hence “Taming the Wild West” (p. 44) and a look at how to prepare for and ace your annual inspection in “You Knew I Was Coming, Right?” (p. 30).

Rapid evolution can inspire—and in some cases necessitate—upgrades to park equipment, infrastructure, and/or design. Hence, “Upgrading Safety Systems” (p. 38) and “Putting on the Brakes” (p. 50). 

Operators are also dealing with a variety of issues related to Covid, especially the challenge of finding enough employees. Hence the rundown of recruiting and hiring best practices in “Now Hiring” (p. 22).

Of course, technology continues to change marketing practices. “DIY Marketing” (p. 62) can help you raise your game without requiring a ton of marketing expertise. And, as groups will likely continue to seek more outdoor activities in the coming year, earning group business can pay off in a big way. “Group Mentality” (p. 47) provides a useful guide to making the most of your group sales efforts. 

Learning about other operators and their experiences is another benefit of being part of a wider community. To that end, let us help you get to know more about one of the community’s longest-tenured members, the Holder family and their sprawling empire in “Flying High” (p. 58), and also introduce you to one of the community’s newest members, Ryze Adventure Park and its entrepreneurial owners (p. 16).

New API Associate Editor, Jack Fagone, canoeing on the Colorado River in Moab, Utah.

Speaking of new members, Adventure Park Insider is proud to welcome Jack Fagone to our team. Jack is an all-season outdoorsman with marketing chops from his years of experience in the mountain resort industry. You’ll see his name a lot more as he dives into his new role managing circulation, research, marketing, and more. 

Jack’s arrival comes as Sarah Borodaeff is stepping back from her role as API’s research, digital, and associate editor. Sarah joined the team six years ago and has been foundational to API’s success in many ways, not the least of which being the many connections she’s developed with members of the aerial adventure community. She and Rick Kahl have been leaders in developing the State of the Industry Report, too, which is a herculean task.

This year, we received more than 150 responses to the State of the Industry Survey as of press time. Thank you to all who responded. We’d also like to thank ACCT and RRC Associates (a strategic market research firm) for their partnership in developing this vital resource for the industry. 

In sum, the State of the Industry Report is another example of recognizing and addressing a need to share knowledge. We hope this issue of API accomplishes that aim, too. 

— The Editors

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