Changing the World, One Kayak Trip at a Time
As outdoor educators, Trent and Hannah of Kayak Adventures have facilitated meaningful and positive outdoor experiences in Seward, Alaska over the past 10 years. Both of them landed in Seward after living fairly nomadic lives, bought, grew, and revived their business through the COVID-19 pandemic, and were married in 2022 at one of their favorite Seward wilderness spots: Thumb Cove.
Kayak Adventures takes thousands of guests paddling each summer, and through their company values and vision, believe they can have a great impact on a large scale. “We are changing the world, one kayak trip at a time,” said Hannah Lafleur. As environmental stewards, their business has donated over $90,000 to Alaska-based environmental non-profits tackling big issues facing our state. Kayak Adventures focuses on place-based education and interpretation on their guided trips, so that guests leave feeling more than just a box checked on a bucket list, but with a new perspective on the world around them and an enlightened sense to protect that world. They offer optional carbon offsets, set a high standard for ‘Leave No Trace’ ethics, and purchase local products whenever possible.
Kayak Adventures’ biggest news is the construction of a new building on their downtown property that will provide upgraded guest outfitting, gear storage, and a large employee apartment. “Our construction project to build an upgraded facility was driven by our desire to go above and beyond for both our guides and our guests. Finding access to lending programs from Kelly Ann, and hearing from her and Cliff that our company can support this development was the springboard we needed to take action on a big project that has been many years in the making. We are so grateful for their support, both for us and for our business community here in Seward,” said Trent Lafleur.
Kayak Adventures came to SBDC for financing options for their expansion project. Alaska SBDC supported Kayak Adventures with loan preparedness and lender requirements, forecasting estimated net sales with the added new mortgage costs, and ensuring a timely closing within the limited construction window before the beginning of their summer tourism season.
With completion of their project expected in spring 2023, the Kayak Adventures team is excited to improve their infrastructure and contribute to Seward’s downtown business landscape. “We feel so fortunate to have the support, guidance, and resources of the SBDC available to us at Kayak Adventures. As a small business, we strive for all our decisions to be values-based, and it’s been critical having someone in our corner to ensure this expansion was also financially viable,” shared Hannah Lafleur.