What Operators Are Saying

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Ben-VanderzydenBen Vanderzyden,
Alliance Redwoods Conference Grounds

 

Q: Can you tell us a recent specific moment that really made you love your job?
A: I was running a giant swing today, and one of the kids did the “terrified scream to a joyful giggle” thing. It’s my favorite part of running challenge courses.

Q: What makes you most excited about your business and/or the industry right now?
A: We run a great outdoor education program during the school year. I can tell by the numbers we have now and what we’re already booking for next year that our marketing team is doing an awesome job.

Jeff Grenier,
Asheville Treetops Adventure Park

Q: Can you tell us a recent specific moment that really made you love your job?
A: Earlier this year when approximately 200 people showed up at our adventure center to support our Zipping for Autism event. We were able to raise more than $25,000 for families in need of services.

Q: What key issue is facing your business right now?
A: Owning an adventure park and zip lines is a difficult balance of keeping it fun and running a successful business. There are many issues, including supporting and keeping great team members in such a seasonal business. Also, maintaining consistent levels of safety, quality, and service takes a lot of work. Developing strong leaders in a young, fast paced and rapidly growing industry is another challenge.

Bruce-Brown_bwBruce “Coach” Brown,
Royal Gorge Zipline Tours

 

Q: How are manufacturers and suppliers helping you run your business (or not)?
A: Coming out with new products and having good support for them. Course builders are struggling a bit because of the scope of what they have to do. Everyone wants it done quickly, as inexpensive as possible, and finished RIGHT NOW! They have a tough gig.

Q: What are you doing to keep the
experience fresh for guests and boost repeat business?
A: We are upgrading our five-year-old course by adding some elements, and speeding up several lines. We’re also going to add a 30-foot tower off the last platform and install a Head Rush QuickJump. Our hope is this will encourage guests to take a tour on our Extreme Course, which offers a 70-foot tower and a 40-foot free fall with another Head Rush product called the FlightLine.

Mitchell Scott,
Sonoma Canopy Tours

Q: What are you doing to keep the experience fresh for guests and boost repeat business?
A: We built a second course and are now offering night zips.

Q: What makes you most excited about your business and/or the industry right now?
A: Innovative ways other courses are offering adventure to guests. I recently saw an adventure park on a castle. That was cool.

Don Gagliardi,
Pine Lake Challenge Course

Q: What new technology are you most excited about?
A: Tablet-based activities are cool. So far only corporate programs are able to afford them. There is a ton of potential in curriculum-based events. We could be doing iPad-based activities on any subject.

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About Author

Olivia Rowan, Publisher — olivia@adventureparkinsider.com
Rick Kahl, Editor — rick@adventureparkinsider.com
Dave Meeker, Senior Editor — dave@adventureparkinsider.com
Sarah Borodaeff, Digital Editor –– sarah@adventureparkinsider.com

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