Imagine barreling along a 1,000-foot zip line while looking out across 14,000 acres of some of the most spectacular scenery Western North Carolina has to offer. That’s THE GORGE; the “steepest, fastest zip-line canopy tour on the East Coast.” Built in 2013 by Green River Adventures amidst 125 acres of old growth forest in the beautiful Green River Gorge in Saluda, NC, the course descends 1,100 vertical feet via 11 zip lines traveling 6,500 feet, as well as 3 short rappels and a sky bridge. The 3.5-hour tour is replete with exhilarating rides, gorgeous views, and top-notch customer service.
Recover has provided apparel to the Gorge since the fall of 2013. Sara and Tim Bell and their staff are some of the nicest, most passionate folks we know in the outdoor adventure world. We’re thrilled that the Saluda location and web store now both feature our 50/50 and Dry Short and Long Sleeve Tees, as well as our Pullover and Zip Hoodies in a variety of awesome color combinations. Earlier this week, Sara took a few minutes out of her busy day to talk a little more about the Gorge and her Recover experience. Check it out and be sure to stop by the Gorge if you are in the area.
How did you decide to build the Gorge?
We opened a business called Green River Adventures nine years ago in Saluda, NC. We focused on whitewater kayak instruction and guided river trips. Now it’s expanded to offer waterfall rappelling, fly-fishing, and even some international trips for our kayak instruction clients. So ziplining was the next step. Most of our trips are run in the Green River Gorge, so we’re extremely familiar with this very rugged terrain. As the technology caught up in the zip line world to allow us to build a really steep zip line course, we decided to do it–to step off the cliff again. That was 2013. Now we’re finishing our third year.
What compelled you to partner with a sustainable merchandise manufacturer?
Well, it was really that the shirts looked a whole lot cooler than all the other shirts we were working with. And we thought the style worked really well with our brand. The fact that it was a sustainable product just made it that much cooler and that much more interesting. So really it’s not like we were going for the most clean, green thing that we could find, and happened upon Recover. We were looking for the coolest looking shirts and the coolest looking hoodies and the recycled aspect was just the icing on the top.
How have your customers responded to the shirts?
They love them. They love them. And they have sort of the same reaction that we do. They pick them up and say, “Oh my gosh. This is so neat. The texture is so cool. It’s so soft on the inside.” So then when the retail staff tells them how they’re made, then it’s kind of a no brainer. And you know, most garments that are made like this, you’d expect that tee shirt to be $40 or something. So the fact that they’re priced the same as all the other tee shirts you’d get in an attraction facility is really nice.
What do you enjoy most about working with Recover?
The fact that we can order the garments and the screen printing from the same place, and it’s not like the screen printer is sort of a middle man for ordering something. Bill and his design team have a really good handle on what’s gonna print well on their materials, the sizes of the graphics that work really well, and the color combinations that work really well. As opposed to working with a screenprinter–they might be working with seven different catalogs with a million different SKUs to choose from. You always feel like the guinea pig on every order. And Recover’s designers are great when we have a new idea for something. They’re awesome.