Western River Expeditions Turns 2020 River Rafting Season Into Financial Success – Despite Pandemic

With 2021 Season Nearly Sold Out, 2022 Grand Canyon Trips Set to Go on Sale Dec.1, 2020 

SALT LAKE CITY, UT, Nov. 17, 2020 – Western River Expeditions was among the few travel businesses to see a fortunate outcome during the summer of 2020 rafting season. The pandemic shut down this river rafting company for 10 weeks during the busiest part of its season. Despite being confined to hosting river rafting guests for only 65 percent of its anticipated user days from June 16 through mid-September, most remaining departures were sold out.

So, who were Western River Expeditions’ guests in 2020?

“Our normal guest count includes over 10 percent non-domestic,” reports Trent Keller, Western River Expeditions’ Manager of Grand Canyon operations. Some of these international travelers deferred their reservations to 2021. Filling in the gaps were guests from North America who may have been on wait lists.

Domestic travelers also account for the bulk of 2021 reservations thus far. As of Fall 2020, Grand Canyon river rafting reservations for 2021 are almost sold out, with some limited availability for three and four-day vacations. Reservations for 2022 Grand Canyon raft trips are set go on sale Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020, at 6 p.m. Mountain Time. As reservations are expected to fill quickly, the public is advised not to delay firming up 2022 plans now.

“Looking back at 2020, this was a phenomenally important year for our guests in that what we provided allows opportunities for them to escape from the world that has become uncertain and distressing,” says Keller. “The experience this year is one of an extraordinary expression of appreciation from our guests at being able to reconnect with families, with friends in a venue that seems to make sense. It’s been all about fresh air and sunlight.”

Throughout the foreshortened season, Western River Expeditions experienced zero positive COVID-19 tests among its 2,529 guests and staff. Keller attributes this to the company’s swift response in creating comprehensive protective protocols that were carried out throughout the season.

“Between Western River Expeditions and our clients at the Moab Adventure Center that offers day trips on the Colorado River, our protocols seem to have worked remarkably well, with recreational opportunities offered to over 26,000 guests,” Keller adds.

“What we’re finding is that our protocols are extremely effective. Visitors have come with an aware and respectful mindset toward others that has paid off in that the experiences we all so much need of leaving the world behind have made sense.” Keller says that for 2021 the company intends to follow the same practices based on evolving CDC guidance and common sense.

“We applied a conservative approach to the protocols affecting guest welfare and safety. Most of the actions we took were very minimal and grew out of our normal hygiene and safety protocols already in place for food-borne and communicable illnesses. As the pandemic evolves and understanding of it evolves, so will our protocols,” he adds.

For questions, availability and reservations call toll-free: 866.904.1160 (Local: 801.942.6669) or visit the website at: http://www.westernriver.com/.

About Western River Expeditions

Western River Expeditions is an adventure travel company headquartered in Salt Lake City, with operations and offices in Moab, Utah and Fredonia, Arizona. Annually from March through October it escorts more people down rivers on professionally guided rafting trips in Utah, Idaho and Arizona than any other company. It is the largest licensed outfitter in the Grand Canyon and the largest single tour provider in Moab, UT, through its division Moab Adventure Center (http://www.moabadventurecenter.com/).

Western River Expeditions, providing Grand Canyon rafting, Utah and Idaho rafting, and international multi-sport trips, was founded in 1961 by Colorado River rafting pioneer Jack Currey. It has been named one of the “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth” by the editors of National Geographic Adventure magazine. The company is the proud recipient of the "Best of State" award through Utah’s Premier Recognition and Awards Program for the past sixteen consecutive years (2004-2019).

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