Guests and visitors to Yosemite National Park often find themselves asking, “We’v seen all we want to see in Yosemite…now what do we do?” Bryan and Victoria Imrie recognized a need based on this question they’d hear over and over again while working in customer service businesses in Mariposa, California, one of the gateway communities to Yosemite National Park. They owned the perfect property in a great location just off one of the major highways to “the park”. After some research they determined a zipline park would be the perfect outfoor family oriented activity they’d like to start as a business to support thier growing family.
They began working with Mariposa County in 2010 to flesh out this idea and acquire community support for zoning changed required to operate such as business, but didn’t have the resources to draft a business plan to get the funding needed. In February, 2011, they approached the Alliance SBDC and began working with Lorinda Forrest, a business start-up consultant serving Mariposa County. “Bryan and Victoria have been delightful clients to work with. They are hard working, dedicated to family and community and driven to provide not only a better lifesyle for themselves, but also support other businessess within Mariposa County.” says Lorinda of her clients.
“Lorinda help us write our business plan and carefully craft financial projections that we felt were conservative and which we analyzed carefully to make sure this had the potential to be a viable business venture”. explained Victoria Imrie. “As how things often work in small community, we were introduced to what we are now our business partners who asked us some hard questions. Because of our guidance from Lorinda, and thorough understanding of this business from putting in the the work and research it took to craft a good business plan, we were able to answer those questions to the satisifcation of these investors. This led to a total $300,000 investment into the project.”
Lorinda then helped the Imries acquire legal advice through the SBDC, create a website and with marketing efforts. She has also provided Human Resources consulting and recommended other local businessess that became interested in partnering. Yosemite Ziplines & Adventure Ranch created job opportunities for 11 new employees from the Mariposa area and is partnering with other local businessess to create “stay & play”, “zip & sip” and other packaged programs. They have received significant press coverage from local and regional news agencies, received news spots on television, phone calls from local resorts who wish to create partner opportunities, and most importantly, the hearty support of the local community.