Our next Member Spotlight is on Asheville Adventure Company. We asked Devin DeHoll, AAC Founder and OBA Board member to share with us his experience being a part of the OBA network.
Why did you join the OBA?
We joined the OBA based on our desire to develop a better network and connection with our local outdoors industry. We have a vibrant industry here in WNC and we have felt for a long time that our business could benefit from building better relationships with this incredible community. We were very excited when we came across the OBA because they had built an environment to facilitate and grow this community we were searching for. Already, our membership in the OBA has had a big impact on the growth of our business in the short time that we have been members.
How have you collaborated or engaged other members?
The biggest collaboration that we have had since joining the OBA was our partnership with Second Gear. We reached out to them about a potential collaborative new space, and after some negotiation we signed a lease on what we hope will be a really exciting shared space right in the heart of the River Arts District that will include an outfitter, a retailer, and a cafe. Our conversations and relationship with the OBA was central to developing and executing this partnership. We were also honored to be a part of the Waypoint program in 2020. During our time in the Waypoint program we were offered the incredible opportunity to collaborate with other businesses in our industry and expand our professional network. It was one of the most impactful several months our business has undergone because of the depth of information that was reviewed, the extensive mentorship network we had access too, and the invaluable experience of getting to workshop business problems with other small outdoor startups. We are so grateful to Andy at the OBA and Matt from the SBTDC for continuing to facilitate this program.
What are you excited about for the future of AAC and the Outdoor industry in WNC?
AAC has grown a lot over the last 24 months and we have a lot to be excited about. We are so very excited about our expansion to the new space, we believe that this new space with Second Gear will be a game changer for our business and will really elevate our business for a lot of sustained long term growth. We are also adding two new trips this year, we are excited to announce that we will be offering a rafting trip on Section 9 of the French Broad and that we will also be expanding our hiking service line to include backpacking. On a smaller note, we are also very excited about setting up a grand opening event for our new space when we can have an opportunity to show the public and OBA members around this new facility.