Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Rains Put Damper on Many Adventure Businesses

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Rains Put Damper on Many Adventure Businesses

Article excerpt

OKLAHOMA CITY - Adventure venues are experiencing a surge in interest, but the unusual amount of rain this year has put a damper on adrenaline sales for most businesses.

Andy and Alyssa Beck, who have owned the Oklahoma Skydiving Center in Cushing for two years, said they have seen a lag in customers because of the unruly weather.

"We would be way ahead of last year if it wasn't for the rain," Andy Beck said.

Beck said he purchased a second airplane to accommodate an influx of jumpers in 2014 and a third earlier this year. Last year, the center served between 4,000 and 5,000 customers, he said.

The Skydiving Center, which has been established for 40 years, serves most of its customers during the summer, but is open all year.

Beck said prior to this season, weekends have been the busiest, and the site saw an overall increase in the number of customers it serves, both young and old. Beck said the oldest person to jump at the center was 97 years old.

"We have more people learning to skydive than we probably ever had," Beck said.

Jumping tandem is the most popular activity at the center, with many customers celebrating birthdays and anniversaries. Thrill- seekers can also learn to free-fall solo by taking four- to six- hour classes. Beck said the center trained about 1,000 students last year.

Beck, who has been a skydiver for 18 years, said the adventure sport has become popular over the years because of better technology and attention from the media.

"It's becoming more accepted," Beck said "People are watching it on TV, and it doesn't look as scary as it did before."

Rosalind Burrough, co-owner of Air Donkey Zip Line in Davis, said this is her fourth summer in business and sales are slacking compared to previous years.

"We've had more interest, most likely because we've spent more money on advertising, but this year we're down a bit," Burrough said.

Burrough said Air Donkey serves about 3,000 adventure-seekers each year.

"(Attendance for) April was up before it started raining," she said. …

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