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Rafting companies seeing highest increase in demand since 2018

A welcome boost after COVID-19 cut the season short
4th of july RAFTING.png
Posted at 5:28 PM, Jul 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-12 16:54:06-04

FORT COLLINS, Colo. — The Cache La Poudre River is flowing at a steady pace as Fourth of July weekend comes to an end. After a poor year last year, because of the pandemic, and with the always present potential for droughts, rafting companies are hoping it stays like that as long as possible.

For the Solbert family, it’s time for one more adventure this Fourth of July weekend.

"I’ve never gone rafting and I’m feeling kind of nervous and excited at the same time," said Alex Solbert.

The Solbert’s aren’t the only ones on the water the day after Independence Day. The holiday weekend is the biggest for rafting tours says co-owner of Rocky Mountain Adventures, Kyle Johnson.

"I would say demand stays high through July, but it it does kind of peak," said Johnson.

It’s a welcome boost after COVID-19 cut their season short in 2020.

"Redemption for sure. Last year was difficult and it definitely feels like we were working twice as hard for half as much money, but we did survive," said Johnson.

The Executive Director for the Colorado River Outfitters Association tells Denver7 the demand for rafting is higher than it was in 2019.

With a drought in the western part of the state, some companies like in Steamboat Springs are only taking their tours on the Colorado River with the other rivers drying up. That’s not been the case for Johnson and his Fort Collins based company, so far.

"We are really, really lucky this year. We’re feeling good. I think the state at large is in a drought, but up here on the Cache La Poudre Basin, we have some of the best snowpack in the state," explained Johnson.

Johnson knows things can change quickly, so they are taking what they can now. Colorado River Outfitters Association says thanks to the constant rain we’ve been getting, they’re expecting what they call "good family rafting" flow through August.