August 2, 2011
Perhaps it’s because everyone’s working so hard and stressed about worldly concerns or their bank accounts, but people sure are looking for a lot of escapes these days. So it might not be a surprise that online travel activity sales are forecasted to outpace online leisure product sales for the first time. Thus, there’s been a surge of companies like Voyage Prive and Jetsetter focused on luxury vacations, while others like Groupon Getaways or Living Social Adventures & Escapes focus on regional low-cost trips. But there’s a gap in the market for more extreme thrills. Enter EpicThrills.
EpicThrills seeks to fill this gap by providing hand selected “bucket list” adventures, like heli-skiing in Alaska, run by elite travel outfitters at an exclusive member-only price (read discount). Currently on the site you’ll find an 11-day cycling pilgrimage across Nepal, a 5-night surf trip to Costa Rica, and a rafting & multi-sport adventure in Patagonia. Like Jetsetter, the offers are for a limited time, and they are displayed beautifully with bold photos that lure you in and detailed descriptions to let you know exactly what you are in for. For more eye-candy and adventure, there’s also the EpicThrills blog.
The bootstrapped startup lead by Allen Burt, began in Chicago but is now based in NYC. Burt, an adventurer himself, says he was frustrated by the lack of authentic adventure experiences online. And with a background like his, you can bet the range of adventures will be interesting. Prior to launching EpicThrills, he led a literacy non-profit campaign in SE Asia (to build mini libraries for rural village schools in the country of Laos), has illegally trekked across the Tibetan plateau, cross-country skied the backcountry of Patagonia, and is a two time IronMan 70.3 competitor. Personally I’d just like the surf and yoga trip… maybe a scenic zip-line through the jungle too.
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