BUENA VISTA, Colo., May 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Chaffee County and Fremont County's variances from Colorado's "Safer at Home" order have been granted and the Arkansas River Outfitters Association (AROA) – experts in risk mitigation of all kinds – is poised and ready to welcome guests to reconnect with each other and the great outdoors this Memorial Day Weekend, starting Friday, May 22. Naturally offering physical distancing by grouping families and small groups to single boats, AROA members provide a well-ventilated, outdoor experience for healthy recreation enthusiasts of all skill-levels.
"As whitewater rafting experts, this is exactly what we do: we identify potential risks and create solutions to mitigate or even eradicate those risks," said Mike Kissack, president of AROA. "We're approaching this obstacle just as we would any other. We're really looking forward to getting families out on the river to reconnect with the outdoors while still observing recommended physical distancing measures and CDC guidelines."
Among physical distancing on boats and on transportation to and from the Arkansas River, AROA outfitters are closely collaborating on developing industry best practices and implementing additional precautions to meet current public health processes and standards, including:
Daily symptom screenings of employees;
Requiring guides to wear a face covering or mask while on trips;
No-contact check-ins for guests when possible and management of reduced occupancy in shops by staggering trip departure times;
Increased disinfecting of all rafting equipment, including life jackets, wetsuits, helmets, splash jackets, paddles and boats.
"Our outfitters truly believe that recreation is essential," said Bob Hamel, executive director of AROA. "There are some undeniable mental health benefits to getting outside and participating in nature. During a summer when typical outdoor family activities including sporting events and amusement parks may be limited, rafting is a thrill-pumping experience for families and adventure junkies alike."
About Arkansas River Outfitters Association Celebrating 40 years of whitewater rafting in 2020, the Arkansas River Outfitters Association (AROA) consists of knowledgeable, experienced and certified professionals, dedicated to offering world-class outdoor recreation on one of the most popular rivers for rafting in United States: Colorado's Arkansas River. Starting high in the Rocky Mountains near Leadville, Colo., more than 100 miles of Colorado's best whitewater can be found nearby – from Granite to Cañon City – all within the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area (AHRA), managed by Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the Bureau of Land Management. AROA's members offer a wide range of whitewater experiences for all ages and adrenaline levels throughout the rafting season, from April to September, and are truly committed to providing exceptional service for a memorable adventure. For more information, visit arkansasriveroutfitters.org, or follow along on Facebook and Twitter.