I attended the International Sportsman’s Expo in Denver Yesterday and in-between drooling over lots of cool stuff (truck campers, drift boats, $1000 fly rods) I managed to talk to some people about their outlook on business in 2011. I spent most of my time speaking to the owners of outfitters, fishing guide services and hunting and fishing lodges, mainly from Alaska and Oregon. Every one of them had a positive outlook on 2011. In fact some fishing guides told me that their bookings were already equal to or better than last years numbers; and they still have months of booking time and dozens of trade shows to ahead of them. Of course they’re not up to 2006 levels, but the sentiment was definitely that a turnaround is in the air.
Most people did note that the recession had taken its toll though, as evidenced by far fewer vendors at the show. Some outfitters have had to cut the tradeshow circuit out of their budgets, and of course others just went out of business. Everyone also mentioned that there were lots of opportunities out there i.e. lodges, guide services, and similar businesses for sale. In fact every person that I talked to gave me a name of someone who was trying to sell their business. So as I said in my last post, now is the time to find your dream business for sale. Recovery is in the air, and there are plenty of businesses for sale, most of which could be had at rock-bottom prices due to the past 3 years of business funk.