Business Happenings - July 2002
WORLD WIDE RIVER
Come Play In Our Backyard
by Carrie Mossien
are lucky and right to claim the Colorado Plateau
as their backyard playground. World Wide River Expeditions
carries a double meaning for this message found on the cover
of the 35-year-old river companys brochure. People,
lots of them, literally play in owners Nicki and Steve Hazletts
backyard on Riversands Road nine months out of the year. World
Wide River Expeditions best marketing tools are its
guides, and this year 18 out of 28 of them live at the companys
off-main base camp and office. The Hazletts make their home
there with five children, ages 6 months to 11 years. Grandparents
on both sides of the family live within a mile or two. The
Hazletts call this a family operation. And so
Two guides just came in from the daily and they were
having a blast out there with the kayaks, Steve said
at the end of a recent and very unseasonably low water river-running
day. Were not minding the low water. The waters
warm and people are having fun. It will probably be a record
low water year, but thats just how it goes. We dont
know whats normal over the long course of things.
Wide has 30 inflatable kayaks that hold two people each. Steve
said the inflatables are relatively easy for young people
to maneuver and the low water takes away some of the danger
factor. Theres as much opportunity for fun in low water
as there is in so-called normal years, the way
Steve sees it.
Weve been down here (from the Salt Lake area)
for 15 years, Nicki says. We started as guides
for Richard Jones, who owned World Wide for 30 years before
he retired. At first we did summers while we went to school.
Then we came down to manage it. As owners its major
full-time for us now.
Steve Hazlett was a business teacher at Grand County High
School for a few years while the couple managed the boating
business until the Hazletts decided to buy the company last
year. Richard Jones was ready to embark on his lifelong dream
of boating across the Atlantic, and he did so, from Portugal
to the West Indies in a boat he built called the Brother of
Jared. For Steve and Nicki the decision was easy: if the company
sold to anyone else they would have to move and give up their
vocation of 15 years. As it turns out Nicki is able
to use the family and consumer science degree she earned and
Im able to use the business degree I earned, Steve
points out. And we love hanging out with the guides,
From mid-April to mid-September the Hazletts organize a multitude
of river trips: Cataract, Westwater and the Daily on the Colorado,
Desolation Canyon on the Green, and the Main Salmon in Idaho.
The trips vary in length from three to five days. One day
Westwater trips are also available. Unlike many river companies,
the guides at World Wide rotate so that a guide coming off
a multi-day Cataract trip might spend the next week on the
Daily. This is where Steve said the guides are World Wides
best marketing. They come off a trip like that excited,
and they talk about it to our Daily customers, Next
thing you know our customers want to do the multi-day trip.
And it gives the guides both the break and the excitement
these adventure-seeking boatmen and women thrive on. Most
of the guides that come to us are very entertaining,
Nicki says poignantly. They have a lot of people skills,
a lot of knowledge and they love the river.
Still, the Hazletts go to great expense each year to make
sure all of their guides have the highest classification available
to river guides Guide 1 so that all of them
can take people out on all of the trips available. Besides
rowing, geology, flora, fauna and those things of interest,
they are very well-trained in advanced first aid, Nicki
said. Even the returning guides are retrained each year.
This year we passed on it because every single one of our
guides are back from last year. We really didnt need
to repeat it for anybody. Steve said many of the guides
become family as well. The Hazletts work is their lifestyle.
We just want to have fun, Nicki said. we
want to play. Steve laughs. Both have said they get
on the river only a couple of times a year themselves, and
the office mailings, phone calls, commissary none of
it runs itself. What she means, Nicki points out, is that
their work is fun. Steves dad, Don Hazlett helps keep
the machinery running and Nickis parents help drive
the shuttles and run the commissary. The older children help
entertain guests, both on the river and off.
World Wide offers competitive prices on its trips because
the company is off-Main Street, but still has
combination packages that include horseback riding at Red
Cliffs Adventure Lodge. Brochures and rack cards are available
around town, and a video is available on request for those
interested in one of the World Wide River Expeditions packages.
Also, Steve said the website at www.worldwideriver.com has
become one of the companys best advertising venues.
For more information, contact Nicki or Steve at 435-259-7515,
800-231-2769, or visit the office at 625 Riversands Road in