Imagination Series: Idea #4

1 05 2012

For my fourth idea in the Imagination Series, I offer a practical yet fun business venture.

Idea #4:  An Outdoor Adventure Business Pitch

For most people, the achievement of a good hike is getting to the top of the mountain. The views are great, the exercise isn’t bad and you start off fresh.  But the way back down usually isn’t as fun.

Achievement! (Atop Mount Elbert, elev. 14,333')

Achievement! (Atop Mount Elbert, elev. 14,333')

I propose that a company licenses the right to set up zip-lines at the top of frequently-traveled hiking trails in North America.  Like most risk-potential activities, use of the zipline would require a signed waiver.  But for $10/pop, the hiker would be transported safely, quickly and thrillingly back to his or his point of origin through a series of zip line cables.  Fun, innovative and lucrative.

Who’s first?  :-)

posted by ayo

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10 responses

1 05 2012
Mike

Hmm…

I wonder how the economics works out though:

- Say it costs $1M capital to setup a zip line per major installation and it lasts for 10 years
- Probably have to pay some rent to govt, some staffing so say another $100K/yr in rent, staff expenses
- Say $2/ride cost in utilities, materials, grease etc…

So to figure break-even volume of rides:

- Annual Fixed cost = $200K (including deprn on capital )

- Margin per ride ($10 – $2) = $8

- Rides/year to break even = $200K/$8 = 25,000 rides or 2000 rides per month or 70 per day.

So maybe could work, especially or more popular sites…of course we could then charge higher rates which would help with investment payback.

Been enjoying the blog for over a year now.

6 05 2012
ayo

Wow. Thanks for crunching the numbers, Mike! It looks like I might have a business partner here… :-)

Glad that you finally came out of the woodwork!

2 05 2012
Diana

I really like this one. I’m currently thinking about going up Angel’s Landing in Zion. I’ve been up there several times before, but always hesitate going because I don’t want to do the trip down. (When you’re old like me, it hurts your knees.) But hey – with your zip line, No Problem!!! You could easily talk more than 70 people per day into it.

6 05 2012
ayo

Sweet. Angel’s Landing for the pilot line, it is!

Wouldja like to be my outreach director? Recruit unsuspecting hikers into the ride of their lives? :-)

2 05 2012
6 05 2012
ayo

Amazing. I love it.

2 05 2012
Talia

awesome!

2 05 2012
Talia

Don’t forget to account for climate and how that impacts how many days per year the zipline will actually have customers. :-)

6 05 2012
ayo

Ooh, excellent point. It looks like this one is going to be a team effort! :-)

PS- You sure you weren’t the management consultant, Talia?

7 05 2012
Mike

So how long before someone comes up with the idea to setup a booth to up-sell coffee, water, gum, snacks etc to the hikers…at this rate we probably will be having a little restaurant on the summit/base..heck even a B&B…ah the capitalist in me sees endless opportunities :-)

Funny..I’ve been reading Diana’s blog for over a year too and wrote her some months ago.

Right now I am within 12 months of hitting the road full-time with my friend and our feline friend. Currently in the process of finalizing on a travel trailer (one of the Nash or Arctic Fox 25 ft floor plans) and a tow van (Chevy Express or Ford E in the Cargo versions)…I think.

Nice post on the regrets of the dying…I take that stuff to heart, especially since in the last 12 months, 3 people we’ve known have been lost to cancer..all in their early fifties.

Sometimes people focus too much on running out of money…meanwhile they ran out of time.

Mike

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