Vail Valley Bizwatch: Rafting company celebrates 40th anniversary |

Vail Valley Bizwatch: Rafting company celebrates 40th anniversary

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Business name: Whitewater Rafting LLC.

Location: 2000 Devereux Road, Glenwood Springs (near the Dairy Queen).

Date opened: Established in 1974. We’re opening May 1 for the season but are taking reservations for the summer now.

Owners: Erik and Phoebe Larsson.

Contact information: Call 970-945-8477 or go to

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What goods or services do you provide? We run rafting trips on the Colorado and Roaring Fork rivers near Glenwood Springs.

What’s new or exciting at your place? It’s our 40th anniversary this year! Many things have changed over 40 years, but the fun and beauty of the Colorado River can never be diminished. Thanks so much to everyone in the community for rafting with us over the years. We never forget that it is really you taking us out on the river, not the other way around.

To celebrate our 40th anniversary, we are offering 40 percent off during the fourth month of the year (April) on our short/mild rafting trip. In the old days, Shoshone was considered too dangerous to run and raft trips were put in below the major rapids. This trip is a nice Class II float that is great for young children and anyone who wants to enjoy the river scenery without getting soaked. This trip does not include the Shoshone Rapids, but call for special preseason rates on Shoshone half-day trips reserved in April for the whole summer season as well. For complete details on our special, go to

What strategy do you use to differentiate your business from your competition? We exclusively raft and do it exclusively in Glenwood Springs. All of our competitors either raft in multiple rivers, and offer other services. We do one thing and do it right. Winning best rafting company for nine years proves that we are on the right course.

What philosophy do you follow in dealing with your customers? What can your customers expect from you? We are one of the few firms in our business where you can expect to meet at least one of the owners, but likely both, during your visit. Phoebe and Erik are always either in the office, driving the bus or behind a camera, and many cases all three. We’re standing by to ensure a great experience.

Tell us a little about your background, education and experience: Phoebe and Erik have been small business owners in the Colorado mountains since 2006. Both hail from Cumberland, Maine. After time in Vail and Breckenridge, they have settled in Glenwood with their 3-year-old twins to be closer to the river and business.

What is the most humorous thing that has happened at your business since you opened? We have a free pet kennel, so guests do not have to leave their pets in the car while they are out on the river. Someone checked a pet turtle at our free kennel, and low and behold it was the only pet ever to escape. We spent an hour searching the underbrush before we found it making top turtle speed right into the office!

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