Deadly Profits: Valdez Heli-Ski Guides


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When the Ski Lift Bores You Asking people to board a helicopter so they can access a 7,000-plus foot high mountain on skis is bold. Asking them to also pay several thousands of dollars for that experience could classify a business owner as crazy. But, there are thrill seekers willing to pay for big money for the adrenaline rush and those that realize the business opportunity in providing the thrill. Scott Raynor is one of those people. Raynor capitalized on his zeal for heliskiing, off-trail downhill skiing that is accessed by a helicopter instead of a ski lift, by opening Valdez Heli-Ski Guides, located at 35 miles outside of Valdez, Alaska. He shares his story with FOX Business: “When I bought the business in 2000 there were fewer heliskiing operations. But now our slice of the pie has been taken away from us, particularly with the growth of heliskiing operations in other parts of Alaska and Canada. This is my main source of income, but I also work as a guide in Chile and Greenland. As guides, our job is to take you to the back country, but to also make sure you come back in one piece.”

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