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This is Chris Redgrave for Zions Bank Speaking on Business.
Utah has a wealth of outdoor opportunities. Along with such opportunities come outdoor enthusiasts like Eric Draper. After spending 10 years as a full-time rock climber, he claims to have a PhD in rock climbing — even without a paper saying so. His work life has been filled with outdoor experiences including his latest venture, Red Desert Adventure in Springdale.
This is a professional outdoor adventure guide service. They can direct their clients, who include visitors from around the world who come to see Zion National Park or Bryce Canyon, on trips that incorporate mountain biking, hiking, rock climbing or canyoneering. Canyoneering is a combination of hiking, rock climbing and rapelling and is growing in popularity. It amounts to around 90 percent of the business at Red Desert Adventure.
Eric moved to Southern Utah in the mid 90s to be closer to the great outdoors he loved so much. That's when he became a full-time rock climber. He also started an outdoor photography business and waited tables to support his rock climbing habit. This helped him gain important customer service skills — and contacts in the industry.
He started Red Desert Adventure earlier this year when he saw the huge growth potential it had. It's really worked out for him too since the company has been the No. 1 attraction on the travel website tripadvisor for the whole season. Many of his clients have come as referrals from the site. Positive feedback includes everything from his professionalism and knowledge of the area to his ability to provide trips to suit any group's ability.
Tapping into the tourism industry is a wise move on Eric's part since Utah has such a thriving tourism industry. We have over 19 million tourist visits each year with annual traveler spending over $6 billion. Around 9 percent of Utah jobs are in travel and tourism-related industries. This is critical in helping improve Utah's employment base.
With strong connections to Utah's outdoor industry, Eric prides himself on selecting only the best and most experienced guides for Red Desert Adventure.
For Zions Bank, I'm Chris Redgrave, speaking on business.
Red Desert Adventure Springdale, UT 435-668-2888 www.reddesertadventure.com