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Old 03-12-2007   #1
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Arkansas River Companies

I'm looking to start a career as a rafting guide (I'm still in school so it's just summers for now) and I've received offers of employment from two companies on the Arkansas River: Echo Canyon and Raft Masters. If you know anything about either company, can offer advice, or can help me in any way make a decision between the two it would be much appreciated.
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Old 03-12-2007   #2
caspermike's Avatar
Bozeman, Montana
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what up

for raft companies depends on how much you want to work! raft masters is a great company in town on arkansas! great people !
echo canyon sends alot of trips but also has alot of guides they are both great companies with great people! id personally go with raft masters! all the way yeah

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Old 03-12-2007   #3
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Boulder, Colorado
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guiding jobs

I worked for Echo my first season as a guide - it was a generally good experience. I trained at a company in Vail that only hired 6 out of 27 people in their training class after promising to hire 60-70% . On the other hand Echo took 13 people for training and hired 12 - I got the final spot. Echo generally treated me well.

The one thing to look out for there was they required people to be on stand-by 6 days a week, if you wanted to only be on standby 5 days a week you lost at least one half day trip if not a full days work in the rotation. Out of 6 days I usually worked 4 to 4 and 1/2 days out of 6. I know that Echo is under new ownership since I worked there so this and other things may have changed. I think Ben is still the head guy there (was there last season) and he is a good guy.

I don't know much about Raft Masters other than we used to call them bad names - like Ass Blasters. But the guides I knew from there were good people. Echo is on top of a mesa about ten miles out of Canon City, Raft Masters is in town - pros and cons to both set-ups. Echo offers camping for their guides on-site, but it gets hot and there isn't much shade up there. When I worked there there weren't flush toilets, showers, or a guide lounge - I don't know if Raft Masters offers camping for their guides or any other amenities. Some outfitters have guide lounges with internet access, tv, showers and other amenities that are really nice. PM me if you have more questions.
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Old 03-12-2007   #4
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In this bullshit three-ring circus sideshow of freaks, Arkansas
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I work for Arkansas River Tours which is close by to both of the afforementioned companies. I used to be a big fan of Echo but the last 2 years the quality of people/attitudes at that company have severely deteriorated. I still know some great people from there but for the most part my opinion of echo is dwindling. On the other side of that I used to have a terrible opinion of Raft Masters and also called them terrible names (I think their name just lends itself to teasing!). But as of late I have gotten to know several of their guides much better and personally feel that their general trend is going upward. Will is alleged to have been one of the best rafters in the valley (I'm sure he still is don't take that as an insinuation that he is no more). But if I were going to choose I would choose Raft Masters. That being said, I love ART and you couldn't talk me into working for any other company on the river soooo.....good luck with your decision!

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