Upstart guide-business beta - Mountain Buzz

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Old 06-08-2007   #1
Marine Biologist
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 90
Upstart guide-business beta

Anyone on the forum have experience starting a whitewater guiding business? I live in Oregon, which is for the most part (exception the Deschutes and Rogue) a largely untapped resource (most rivers are not regulated for permits) for starting a business. The guide licensing only costs $50, and it is ~$650 per boat for $400K/person liability insurance. Minimum requirements CPR and First Aid, and I believe SWR for whitewater guiding (I would hope so, anyways). You guys know how much it would cost for insuring a 15 person van? Any idea on the overall total cost for starting up with, say 4-5 rafts, exquipment and guides, including purchasing a couple vans and flatbed trailers? Is the auto insurance the main cost? In order to train new guides, is there a trainer class required? Should I get ahead of Oregon's game and get WFR? I know in CO there are classes you can take that are not necessarily associated with a particular company to be guide certified. Is this a national requirement, or is it all decided state by state? Thanks for any beta

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Old 06-08-2007   #2
no tengo
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Baytopia, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1876
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Auto insurance is a drop in the bucket. Your main costs will be payroll (staff) and vehicles and equipment. Then marketing. then liability insurance (check out There are city state permit fees, taxes, food, gas, oh and where are you setting up (building, land)? that will cost something for sure.

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Old 06-08-2007   #3
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It is not an inexpensive proposition. Some CO friends of mine starting a company in Ashland several years ago guiding on the Rogue and Klack. Kokopelli River Center (on the web). give them a call and they can help you get local info and start up beta.
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