Buzz from the Deerfield Valley Canopy Tours
by Cassie Hayden
Deerfield Valley Canopy Tours had a zippy second year. We expanded from nine ziplines to eleven, adding the popular Hickory Run and Touchdown Zip to the course, and made other physical improvements such as re-grading the roads and building a boardwalk at the top of the course to protect the fragile tree roots on the path leading to Initiation Zip.
With a season under our belts we were better able to predict staffing needs in 2010, so we could open more trips during the busy times. We also hired more guides, giving our staff a more manageable schedule and providing a better experience for our guests. Summer Barkoskie came on this year as assistant manager and worked closely with DVCT manager Nina Nunes to keep operations (dare I say it?) zipping along seven days a week and provide support for our guides.
For two years in a row, August has proved to be our busiest month. On a typical Saturday in August, we were taking upwards of 140 people zipping. In fact, nearly 12,000 of you joined us this season! This was a significant increase over 2009. Most of you had never zipped before. Many of you came with gift certificates from a friend or relative and were excited to try out a new adventure. Thank you for making Deerfield Valley Canopy Tours your favorite place to zip, for entrusting us with your celebrations and your memories.
As we continue to grow, our main focus for next season will be on interpretation of the environment we’re zipping through. For instance, did you know that the forest we zip through was almost totally cleared of trees 150 years ago and supported a sheep farm? We're always looking to bring you the best experience possible, and we have visited several other canopy tours throughout the country to explore their courses and bring back new ideas. "People aren't necessarily looking for longer, faster zip lines," says Nina. "They're looking for connection with each other, our staff and the world around them. We hope to provide an experience where people come away with knowledge as well as memories. We're always looking for a better way to unite guests with their environment to enhance their experience of the outdoors."
In order to maintain our high standards of safety, we're replacing all the zipline cables this December after two years and approximately 20,000 guests. We also continue to look for ideas about how to improve your experience. We’d love to hear any that you want to share with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In 2011, we're scheduled for another April 1st opening (no fooling), and we look forward to seeing you then!
One of the most interesting questions we like to ask you, our guests, is “Why do you come zipping at Zoar?” Answers ranged from heartwarming to humorous. A sample:
- To check an item off my bucket list
- To get over my fear of heights
- To prepare for firefighter training and those tall, tall ladders
- Because it’s too far to go to Costa Rica
- To celebrate the life of a loved one who recently passed away
- To get my children unplugged and outside for a day
- Because our Adventure Club goes exciting places together
- To celebrate our anniversary – or birthday – or graduation – or retirement
- Because it’s a bachelor party my fiancée will support
- To look at the amazing foliage
- Because I want to feel like a character in an action movie
So, why do you come zipping at Zoar? Tell us on our Facebook wall!