New River Outdoor Adventures
They say do what you love and you will never work a day in your life, for outdoor adventurist Minda and Timmy Dixon the path was clear – Outdoor Recreation.
The Dixon’s met with the Blue Ridge Crossroads Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in September 2014 to discuss funding opportunities available. Their goal was to open an outfitter in Fries, VA for the 2015 season offering canoeing, kayaking, tubing, and biking. Mr. Dixon had worked part-time with an existing outfitter that was closing down for good at the end of the 2014 season. The Dixon’s saw an opportunity to combine something they love and fulfill a gap in the local economy. While the business plan and financial projections were prepared in just a few months funding became a challenge. The Dixon’s had never owned a business before and were still newlyweds.
The staff at Blue Ridge Crossroads SBDC began talking to various lenders that would consider lending a portion of the necessary funding to start-up. Another challenge included that the business would be seasonal so how would the Dixon’s continue to meet their financial obligations during the off-season. Through perseverance and creative thinking the SBDC was able to help the Dixon’s in securing two smaller loans for their start-up capital needs. On Memorial Day in 2015 New River Outdoor Adventures opened their doors to welcome fellow outdoor enthusiast. Since that opening the Dixon’s have hired 2 part-time employees and doubled much of their beginning equipment. In late 2015 they began offering a fishing tournament that has now become a semi-annual event and became a 3rd party dealer for kayak sales. “We are grateful to the SBDC for their guidance and resources,” stated Minda Dixon. “Just knowing we can call you if we have a question gives us the confidence to move forward with expansions and offerings,” shared Timmy.
New River Outdoor Adventures offers schedules floats along the New River and shuttle services for both the river and the New River Trail. When not working in the business you will find the Dixon’s in their kayaks floating on the river and catching some fish or planning their next big adventure.