Business Happenings - May 2002
OARS Adventures Seeks to
Exceed Peoples Expectations.
by Carrie Mossien
Taylor and Dave Bodner are the brains and the logistics behind the
29 different trips offered by OARS during the river and jeep adventure
season of Moab. They leave the charismatic details of customer service
to the 30-plus guides who work for them during peak times, all the
while paying close attention to the myriad details of making each
and every customers vacation a memorable one.
We happen to be in the adventure travel business, but we know
were in the customer service business, Dave says.
Were in the business of going on vacation with people,
Jason adds. And we want it to be an incredible vacation.
With more Cataract Canyon trips than nearly anyone in the valley,
and jeep tours to Elephant Hill - a place Jason said 99 percent
of the people who visit Moab will never see - OARS sets out to make
a lasting impression on visitors so that they will come back, and
bring other with them. The company also prides itself on striving
to get people to participate in the trips. One method is built
in; OARS goes out on the Daily, a relatively calm stretch of the
Colorado River starting out 40 miles upriver from Moab, in paddle
boats. This sets the OARS trips apart, as the guides are not doing
all of the work.
We believe this helps people want to get to know the area,
and what makes it unique, Jason said.
Dave said OARS takes parties through Cataract Canyon at least once,
and often two to three times a week. These trips are packaged a
variety of ways: one 14-day excursion starting off in Green river;
one 12-day trip, and several five and six-day Cataract trips by
paddle and oars, and four-day motor trips. One of the most popular,
for people who want to go through Cataract but have less times,
is a one-day motor trip. OARS purchased a special boat for those
excursions.We try to run small groups and offer personalized
service, Jason said. We definitely go the extra mile.
We want to exceed peoples expectations."
Dave and Jason send
out approximately 60,000 mailings a year to their target market,
but also rely on a local clientele, and especially on a local work
force. Jason said the company gets great traffic with
its on-line reservation system through the OARS web site, but
the number one marketing tool is word of mouth, he says.
We have three or four people who have taken every trip we
have to offer, Jason added. thats an amazing thing.
And they tell their friends. Thats how we get a lot of our
OARS also offers annual trips for small groups youth and
church groups the company provides special packages for. They
come back year after year, Jason said.
OARS has been in the adventure tourism business for over 30 years.
Services offered include corporate retreats, four-day lodging and
adventure packages that include river and land tours, daily jet
boat trip below Dead Horse Point, photography tours, San Juan River
tours and back country flights with Redtail Aviation. The company
has permits for all three National Parks in the area and the staff
includes experienced campers and cooks. And if a customer does not
find the tour package he or she wants at OARS, Dave and Jason will
call other companies in the area to fix them up.
We understand youre on vacation, Dave said. And
we understand we are paid to be on vacation with you.
brochures detailing all of their packages are available at the office
at 543 North Main Street in Moab, or call 435-259-5865 (toll free
800-342-5938). Reservations may be made on line at the OARS web
We geared up for the season, but theres really never
a down time, Jason said. We are organizing and refining
trips all winter long, as well as taking reservations.