Our Company > O.A.R.S. History
|River rafting becomes a business|
|1972||O.A.R.S. is incorporated as a fully operational river rafting company|
|1973||Sobek Expeditions is established and becomes part of the O.A.R.S. consortium. The first commercial trip is on Ethiopia's Omo River|
|1978||First descent of the Bio Bio in Chile|
|1979||O.A.R.S. establishes its first whitewater training and guide school|
|1981||First descent of the Zambezi River in Zimbabwe|
|1985||50% office growth
O.A.R.S. begins producing videos to showcase tour programs
|1986||First descent of the Alas River in Sumatra
O.A.R.S. aids production of PBS documentary on Colorado Plateau issues entitled "Troubled Waters."
|1988||Acquisition of Grand Canyon Dories|
|1990||Development of sales for international river programs
Acquisition of Parklands Expeditions in Jackson Hole, Wyoming
O.A.R.S. is featured in PM Magazine
|1991||Acquisition of Northwest Dories
David Brower joins benefit trip in Cataract Canyon to increase awareness of Glen Canyon Dam
O.A.R.S. provides support for production of ESPN documentary entitled "Tournament of Champions"
|1992||George Wendt represents America Outfitting Industry, testifying before the Senate Subcommittee for river preservation|
|1993||Develops sea kayaking and whale watching programs|
|1994||25th anniversary celebration in Angels Camp|
|1995||Begins operations on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in Idaho|
|1996||Establishes award-winning presence on the world wide web with "O.A.R.S. Online"|
|1997||Facilitates the first ever virtual Colorado River Expedition through the Grand Canyon via Discovery Channel Online
Permitted to operate in Dinosaur National Monument on the Yampa River and the Gates of Lodore section of the Green River
Acquires North American River Expeditions, offering rafting and multi-sport vacations in Canyonlands National Park
|1998||Develops premier international adventure travel programs in Fiji
Assists in production of documentary that retraces Major John Wesley Powell's legendary decent of the Colorado River for PBS' The American Experience and Journeys through Hell, a segment of ZDF, German public television.
|1999||Obtains permit to run the North Fork of the Stanislaus River
Provides Salmon River trip for Get Challenged, a national non-profit organization dedicated to building the self esteem of people living with HIV/AIDS. Get Challenged produces a documentary film based on the trip
|2000||Successfully negotiates with the government of Fiji to establish the Upper Navua Conservation Area -- a unique public-private partnership protecting this pristine river environment in Fiji
George Wendt named one of Paddler Magazine's "Paddlers of the Century"
Becomes founding member of the Adventure Collection
|2001||Coordinates the river filming of the new IMAX theater film, MacGillivray Freeman's Coral Reef Adventures released in 2003
Receives international recognition from the WTO (World Tourism Organization) for the Rivers Fiji top-rated ecotourism enterprise
|2002||Rivers Fiji plays host to the Eco-Challenge race event on the Navua River, receiving international media coverage
Acquires partnership interest in R.O.A.M. (Rivers, Oceans and Mountains) to operate rafting and sea kayaking trips in British Columbia and the Yukon Territory
|2003||Middle Fork of the Salmon River trip selected as one of The Top Twenty-Five Adventures in the World by National Geographic Adventure magazine
R.O.A.M. and O.A.R.S. gain exposure through ESPN's "Last Man Standing" reality series that was filmed at Chilko Lake in British Columbia
O.A.R.S. provides 6-day rafting adventures in Utah as the grand prize for the nationally renowned McDonald's Best Chance Monopoly Game, further bolstering its recognition as a household name in the adventure industry
|2004||Whitewater legends George Wendt and then 87-year old Martin Litton, row the Colorado through Grand Canyon to celebrate O.A.R.S. and Grand Canyon Dories 35th and 40th anniversaries, respectively.
O.A.R.S. hosts Robert Kennedy Jr. and Christie Todd Whitman for an eco-debate on the Main Salmon in Idaho
O.A.R.S.’ Klinaklini Heli-Rafting Expedition named one of the “100 Best Trips on the Planet” by Men’s Journal
O.A.R.S. provides 6-day rafting adventures in Idaho for the second year as the grand prize for the nationally renowned McDonald’s Best Chance Monopoly Game
O.A.R.S. partners with American Express as part of the Member Rewards Program
|2005||O.A.R.S. provides Grand Canyon rafting trip for people with disabilities through the organization Environmental Traveling Companions
Town and Country and Men’s Journal magazines both feature O.A.R.S.’ Grand Canyon trip as one of the Best Trips on the Planet
NBC features the Tuolumne Wine on the River Trip as part of their award winning series, "In Wine Country"
O.A.R.S. debuts a whitewater rafting series for Women Only
National Geographic covers the Firth River - 25 years after the first descent
Travel & Leisure covers Chilko Multi-Sport Adventure Spa trip in the wilds of British Columbia
O.A.R.S. goes international in a big way – adding Peru, Ecuador, Galápagos and Chile Multi-sports to complement existing international rafting and sea kayaking trips
88-year old Martin Litton rows a dory and documentary film crew down the Middle Fork and Main Salmon
Patagonia and O.A.R.S. collaborate for a series of Arctic awareness events across the country
O.A.R.S. forms strategic marketing partnerships with REI, Teva, Smith Optics and Royal Robbins
|2006||O.A.R.S. introduces the online OARStore designed to meet the activity specific packing and gear needs of the O.A.R.S. traveler
Premier of the O.A.R.S. "River of the Wild West" High Definition promotional film, set to the sounds of Bluegrass music performed by O.A.R.S. guides
Taking the lead from the overwhelming success of the Wine on the River series, O.A.R.S. rolls out their new Wilderness Gourmet series featuring gourmet chefs and culinary instruction on the river
Wilderness Gourmet receives unprecedented media attention through Men's Journal and Shape Magazine with the first ever trip on the Rogue River in Oregon covered by Sunset Magazine
Men's Journal features O.A.R.S. Grand Canyon trip as one of "25 Classic Adventures Trips and How to Do Them Right"
O.A.R.S. hosts Tom Brokaw on a charter trip for Men's Journal on the Middle Fork of the Salmon
Working with Teva, O.A.R.S. coordinates the river filming of the new IMAX film, MacGillivray Freeman's "Grand Canyon Adventure: River at Risk"
George Wendt honored by the Adventure Travel Trade Association with a Lifetime Achievement Award
O.A.R.S. forms innovative new partnerships with the Leave No Trace, Center for Outdoor Ethics and commits to training guides company-wide in LNT practices
O.A.R.S. commits to voluntarily offset and help neutralize all of the energy used by our main office in California and our Grand Canyon operation in Arizona through a innovative new partnership with NativeEnergy
Grand Canyon Dories featured in Conde Nast, "World's Best" issue
O.A.R.S. purchases 613 tons of carbon offsets in 2007, which has the same global warming offset impact as keeping 100 average cars off the road for an entire year
Receives recognition from the nationally syndicated NBC series, "In Wine Country" for "Best Wine Country Adventure" on the Tuolumne River in California
Creation of the new O.A.R.S. blog for past guests and adventure enthusiasts - Waterblogged - http://whitewaterraftingblog.oars.com
The company goes 100% solar for their warehouse and main office operations in Angels Camp, California, and for their warehouse and office in Flagstaff, Arizona, for their Colorado River operations in the Grand Canyon. These two new systems are expected to generate over 123 kWh of electricity their first year and every year thereafter - enough to keep 8 medium-sized houses supplied with electricity for a year. This will result in a reduction of approximately 180,000 lb - over 90 tons of green house gases (mainly carbon dioxide) per year
SmarterTravel.com recognizes O.A.R.S. Rogue River trip as one of "The 10 Best Adventure Travel Bargains of 2008"
Condé Nast Traveler magazine’s Wendy Perrin names Reservations Manager,
Mindy Gleason, as “Top Travel Specialist” in the River Rafting category for the second year
O.A.R.S. multi-generational family trips highlighted in an article in the Wall Street Journal
National Geographic Traveler magazine names Mystical Peru trip as one of the “Best New Trips” of 2008
Cataract Canyon featured in Sunset magazine as one of their "10 Earth-Friendly Spring Flings"
Forbes Traveler recognizes the Upper Navua River in Fiji as one of the "Top 10 Rafting Trips in the World"
Outside magazine names the Rogue River Wilderness Gourmet "Trip of the Year" for 2008
O.A.R.S. commemorates landmark 40th anniversary