Iowa River Tours to Close for 2013 Season With Hopes of Salvaging Business
The first wounded warriors of the drought of 2013 come in the form river guides. Iowa River Tours will be shuttering it’s business for the duration of the 2013 season in hopes of salvaging the business for future years.
“The recent snows are not even close to drought breakers given the deficit accrued at the end of 2012,”co- owner Abby Grundman-Guthrie says, “and we realize that even if we return to normal precipitation levels, that might help farmers, but it does not signal an end to low water on the Little Sioux because the decline in ground water is so significant.”
Currently in Northwest Iowa ground water is lower now than it was in the height of summer and 7 ½ feet lower than it was a year ago.
Co-owner Neal Guthrie points to the future when determining the companies decision. “We could try and run trips on a few inches of water, but it doesn’t make any sense. When you put people on the water, you want them to have a great time so they refer others and come again themselves. The last thing you want is for them to get stuck repeatedly on a sandbar and never want to canoe again.”
Abby added, “To put people on the water this year, with the projected flows, would mean slitting our own throats for future seasons. It would simply be bad business, coupled with very low revenue and high expenses. Sadly, no matter how passionate we are about river systems, we have to look at this from a financial perspective if we want to survive.”
Neal pointed to bookings for the company has an indicator pulse as well. “We have been managing river companies for years and traditionally you see 65% of your trip-dates filled by St. Patrick’s Day. We are looking at less than 1% of trip dates filled. Obviously we are not the only ones anticipating the drought to continue.”
Unfortunately what the absence of pre-season bookings means is low pre-season revenue and that in turn makes paying things like lability insurance and improving the fleet and facilities impossible.
“As hard as it is, decisions have to be made, and this is the right decision given the current situation.” Abby said.
Canoe and Kayak Trips
New school meets old school: Iowa River Tours’ Canoe trips are great fun for all abilities and ages. Or for a more challenging adventure try one of our “play-boat” Kayaks. Eskimo roll sessions available too.
You are not a “local” until you have gone drifting down the river in one of Iowa River Tours’ cattle tanks. Ridiculously fun. Spin! Spin! Spin! Spin!
Stand Up Paddle Tours