Friday, October 04, 2019

Some outdoor recreation guides bring urban dwellers to enjoy—and spend money in—rural areas

David Radditz (left) with a client. (Photo courtesy of Radditz)
For adventure tourism guides like Drake Radditz, one of the best parts of the job is helping urban residents appreciate rural areas. "Radditz, 38, was born and raised in Portland. But growing up, his family spent most weekends elsewhere in the rural Northwest — fishing, hunting and reveling in the natural world. Those were the places Radditz felt most at home," Tim Trainor reports for the Capital Press in Salem, Oregon.

As a teen, Radditz began leading rafting and other outdoor-tourism trips and learned how to help clients feel comfortable even in unfamiliar situations. Some rural residents have been less than pleased with the increased traffic: Over the past decade, Radditz says he's had vehicles vandalized and tires deflated. And some locals who might hang out with him now sometimes refuse to share advice about fishing or other outdoors tips, Trainor reports.

"They think that (the river) is theirs and I’m an outsider trying to take that away from them," Radditz told Trainor. But Radditz says he believes the guided trips help city dwellers learn to appreciate rural beauty and bring more money to rural areas, Trainor reports.

"We’re taking people who wouldn’t normally come to a rural place to spend money," Radditz told Trainor. "Sure, as a guide, we’re making money off of that. But it’s also being spread into the communities."

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