Eight Actions Outfitters and Guides Can Take Now

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

CO DORA DPO Color  Logo Lock Up

Eight Actions Outfitters and Guides Can Take Now

Dear Licensee:

The following message is being distributed on behalf of the Colorado Outfitters Association (COA), in light of the current Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The COA, Professional Outfitters and Guides Association and members throughout Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada and New Mexico are suggesting best practices as the industry moves forward during this uncertain time and affects bookings in the near-term. 

Eight Actions Outfitters and Guides Can Take Now 

  1. Communicate with your clients
  • Reach out to your clients and let them know you're thinking of them. We're all in this together and that approach is the best one we can take. Be compassionate, show you care and simply check in on them. 
  • Show your clients what steps you are taking to establish CDC-advised measures to accommodate them during this time and into the future. 
  • Strongly recommend your clients purchase Travelers Insurance.
  • If you are making adjustments in your company policies, communicate that with them. Examples of this could be offering a shorter cancellation period (45 days instead of 60 days, an option to adjust the dates of their stay, etc.). 
  • Let them know that you'll be staying in touch with them, that you're here for them, and that you'll be communicating with them in the coming days and weeks.
  • Review your social media channels and content plans. Make sure you're taking into account the pulse of your followers, and deliver them spots of joy in their newsfeed. Stop strong CTAs (calls to action) around booking their trip now; instead, provide travel inspiration, a pretty picture with an appropriate caption, etc. 
  1. Evaluate your own financial abilities

Take the time to sit down and put pencil to paper as you take a clear look at what your business can withstand financially. Map out your financial obligations through the end of the year. Come up with a plan for the worst-case scenario, mid-case scenario and best-case scenario and create actionable steps you can take. 

As you work through this, the topic of refunds and policies will come up. You'll need to decide as a business if you are going to hold onto deposits (per your policy) or if you switch to a different strategy that is softer. For many of you, this will be a decision for you to make personally, as it will be directly tied to your ability to make it through this storm. Be sure to take the time to weigh the various implications of each course of action (personal/business economics, reputation risk, client loyalty, etc.). Be sure to put all changes to policies in writing.

  1. Set up a meeting with your bank

After you determine what your carrying costs are going to be for the next 8 to 12 months, ask your bank for specific lines of credit and consider renegotiating loans. In order to survive this, renegotiation will have to happen. 

  1. Apply for a SBA loan

Fill out the paperwork for a Small Business Association loan. Our best advice: don't wait to do this. Take the action that's necessary now so you can get the response you need right now. Complete the Economic Injury Worksheets as soon as possible.

More information can be found by calling the SBA Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 or by emailing them at disastercustomerservice@sba.gov

  1. Communicate with your land management agencies. 

COA has already been in contact with our licensing and permitting agencies. They know we are concerned and are working on alternatives for us. We will keep you apprised of what we learn.

If your business relies on land agencies, reach out to your contacts as soon as possible and see how they are going to work with you. Ask them about delays in opening and what adjustments they are willing to make. Inquire about the best way to get in touch with them during the next few  weeks. 

Additional steps you can take: 

  • Ask about the option of having payments moved to a later date.
  • Estimate a lower proposed use within your authorized days. Your use has a direct impact on the fees you pay this year. If you estimate a lower proposed use, this will eliminate you putting as much money out upfront. You can pay for additional use fees later. 
  • Inquire about how land-use partners and agencies will communicate with you as various factors change on their end as well. 
  1. Communicate with your staff

Just like you, your staff is feeling the impact of Coronavirus. They will be wondering if they have jobs, if they will have the same start date as previously agreed to, etc. As conditions continue to change and evolve, stay in touch with your staff, ask them to practice social distancing and let them know that you are doing everything possible. Be sure they have the latest information around COVID-19 and let them know what you are doing on their behalf. The more information you can share with them, the better. 

  1. Revisit policies that will have an impact in the coming weeks and months

Experts are estimating that COVID-19 will take time to dissipate. Now is the time, after you've done the steps listed above, to create policies on accessing client health when they arrive for a trip or experience at your business. If they're sick, you need to have a policy that will allow you to turn down taking them on a trip. This is also the time to review company policies, enact travel insurance and more. 

  1. Let the Colorado Outfitters Association know how it can help you

Please contact the COA office by calling 970-824-2468 or emailing  office@coloradooutfitters.org with questions or concerns you have.


Do not reply to this email - this is not a monitored inbox.