Monday, May 23, 2011

April Survey Results

In April we conducted a survey that asked past guests and other email contacts what they thought about our trips. We had 270 responses. Here is a summary of what folks told us.

Of those who had taken a trip with IRJ, 77% thought our vacations were about the same price as similar trips, 9% said more expensive, 13% said less expensive. 75% said that their trip with IRJ was better than most other vacations they'd taken, and 20% said it was the best ever. 4% said it was the same as most other vacations. 80% said they'd recommend our trips to friends.

The most common obstacle people voiced about taking a trip with us was the cost and logistics of getting here. People who had never taken a trip were more likely to be deterred by the price of the trip itself although most felt the trips were fairly priced.

Trip elements, other than boating, most enjoyed by guests were campfires, waterfall stops, hiking, hot spring visits, interpretive talks, wine tasting, spending time with family. Some thought we should do more camp games; some thought fewer. Some wanted showers, some said showers weren’t too important. Our food and customer service was solidly rated “A” (Thanks).

Suggested improvements were to provide seats with back support for use in oar boats. Have healthier food options for health conscious individuals. Fewer onions. More beer. A better system of rotating use of the kayaks.

Toilets always get comments. 81% of people want the toilets in a secluded spot but out in the open air.

Here is what we are going to do:

1. Purchase seats with back support for our oar boats. Already done.
Make discounted seats available to guests who book small groups of 6 or more. We need more guests and you need discount opportunities.
Improve access to showers. We always have Sun Showers on our trips but we’re looking for a better system. Most of our trips are in wilderness areas where mechanical devices like battery powered pumps for showers are not allowed.
Take a look at travel options to our meeting place and come up with travel suggestions.
Offer some new menu items. Probably won’t change the onion and beer amounts.
6. Review the survey with our crew at our June 18th pre-season meeting and make sure we are doing the things guests want on a trip.

If you completed the survey, you may have won a prize. You will be notified by email. If you expressed interest in taking a trip, we’re sending you follow-up materials. Thank you for participating and helping us make rafting with Idaho River Journeys the best vacation possible.

If you didn’t take the survey, and want to offer comments please email them to us.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

River Rafting a Top Choice for Mom’s Looking for Active Family Vacation

Every mom knows that the secret of planning the perfect family adventure vacation is finding a destination with something for everyone. The goal is to keep the kids happy and engaged while providing mom and dad with activities they will enjoy along with the kids. Outfitted river trips on Idaho’s Middle Fork of the Salmon fill that goal in abundance.

The Middle Fork of the Salmon features 100 miles of crystal-clear water teeming with wild trout, exhilarating whitewater, stunning scenery, magnificent hiking trails, soothing natural hot springs, and numerous historical sites. Add to that a riverside “luxury camping” experience where guides prepare exquisite meals and you have the setting for the perfect vacation.

River rafting vacations have become popular with multi-generational family groups looking to vacation together and experience a variety of activities. A typical day on the Middle Fork might find the kids kayaking, dad fly-fishing, mom navigating a paddle raft, the group hiking to a nearby hot-springs, all the while creating family memories that will last a lifetime.

Jerry Hughes runs Hughes River Expeditions and outfits on the Snake River, Salmon and Middle Fork in Idaho. He thinks that the ease of planning, the adventure, and the opportunity for families to spend time together without distractions attributes to the popularity of river rafting vacations. “Sitting around a campfire with your kids is an experience we once took for granted,” Hughes notes. “But in today’s tech connected world, it’s something wonderfully rejuvenating.”

Outfitters have made planning a Middle Fork vacation easy. Most trips originate in the mountain village of Stanley, Idaho, easily reached from Boise. Most top-quality outfitters provide all necessary camping gear including comfortable ground mattresses, clean sleeping bags and spacious tents. Guests need to bring only changes of clothing and personal items.

“We’ve been running the Middle Fork since 1978,” says Mary Papale, who along with husband Bob Volpert, runs Idaho River Journeys. “Our favorite guest comment is one we hear every summer. “Our rafting trip with you was the best family vacation we’ve ever taken.”

Middle Fork trips are typically 6-days long. For information about vacationing on the Middle Fork of the Salmon, contact one of these premier river outfitters:

Idaho River Journeys, 1-888-997-8399
Hughes River Expeditions, 1-800-262-1882
Solitude River Trips, 1-800-396-1776
Far & Away Adventures, 1-800-232-8588
Rocky Mountain River Tours, 1-208-345-2400

For more information about Idaho’s Middle Fork of the Salmon or family rafting vacations in general, contact Mary Papale at 1-888-997-8399. Mary is the mother of 3 sons who grew up in an outfitting family and now guide on the Middle Fork for Idaho River Journeys.