E35: Guided by an Experience-First Hospitality Mindset with Danny Collins
May 24, 2022
Dustin Myers: Danny, thanks so much for joining us.
Danny Collins: Yeah. Awesome to be here. Yes. Always good time.
Dustin Myers: Yeah. So we first came across you at probably at the beginning stages 37 North Expeditions and just been really impressed with the brand that you’re building and kind of everything that you’ve been putting out. So became friends a while back and have been just looking forward to the time when we could have you on the podcast. So I’m excited that that is today and we’re going to get to dive in with you.
Danny Collins: Well, super excited too and super excited that you guys are creating such a great podcast for viewers that covers everything, even guiding service companies. Right? So yeah. Super excited to be here.
Dustin Myers: Cool. Well, let’s go ahead and dig in. I think the first question would just be kind of how did your professional journey began? What did that look?
Danny Collins: Yeah. That’s a long long-winded one. I’m going to try to answer that somewhat quickly. But I grew up in this area, I grew up just outside of Springfield, Missouri, ended up at college at a little school in Springfield, Missouri, Drury University. I would be lying if I didn’t say I went there to play soccer first and education second, but it was the perfect fit for me in so many ways. Ended up graduated from there with a master’s in architecture and also my MBA, Master of Business Administration. Afterwards, I thought I would go the various serious corporate route and kind of the traditional American-follow-your-degree route and took a job, an amazing firm in New York City called Kohn Pedersen Fox. They’re in Manhattan. We’ve done a project where anybody that’s been to New York has probably heard of Hudson Yards.
So I was one of the main architect designers, a very large team on that project, for about four years, living the dream in Manhattan, I guess, a lot of people would say. I, like, probably anybody from the Midwest, felt the compression of the city in so many ways, there are so many aspects about it that I love, but there were a few things that kind of made me edge a little bit. And one of those was just the need to get outside a little bit more. And so I ended up actually finding an organization to start guiding with. Most of those were pretty small, adventures from hikes to kayak trips or those kinds of things in Upstate New York, we usually did some rock climbing, that kind of stuff too throughout the year. But really it was just a side gig. It was kind of my need to fulfill all that was yearning or missing from my typical nine to five or in Manhattan nine to nine job, at least you could say.
And so ended up doing that for about four years on the side. It led to some bigger adventures. I got to go lead some trips out to Africa and Kilimanjaro summits and some bigger expeditions like that. And to be honest, about four years in, three and a half years in, I just decided that this is something I wanted to pursue more of a career. And long story short, I ended up landing a job with National Geographic. So I kind of made the plunge and left my degree and put it to the side and took a job National Geographic, where I was the expedition manager at one of their unique lodges of the world down in Ecuador, in South America. And ended up kind of transitioning back to the Ozarks from there. But that’s a little bit of where I’ve been up until now, I guess, you could say.
Jeremy Wells: It sounds like a really interesting journey. And I’m sure there was a lot of small stories within that as well. I’d like to hear a little bit more that transition from working at that architect firm in New York and just like the experiences you had there. You mentioned just the feeling and the need or the call of the wild, so to speak, to get out in nature and things like that. But that transition from that career to guiding and what has now become 37 North, what do you think and what was the point where you realized that this could be an actual career and more than just a hobby or a passion or an interest?
Danny Collins: Yeah. That’s an interesting question where I think I could actually pinpoint it to one exact moment to be honest. Again, I really loved my time in New York City. I mean, my personality fits so many, fits well in New York City in so many positive ways, I guess, you could say. I am a very competitive go-getter type of personality, and New York, it fit that well in so many aspects. And I did love my job. I worked for a great architectural firm. It was demanding time, but I just think I slowly realized that the standard nine to five office type of setting is just not where I feel fulfilled nor like I’m making the most impact. It was, like I said, about three years into this kind of guiding, I remember one day where it was a trip.
I could probably bring me back to the success phase where I was just kind of conversing with a bunch of people on an overlook and realized, “Wow, I didn’t make a lot of money today, but man, did I have a blast.” And I will never forget this exact thought process of I am surrounded by people that are happy. And that’s my job right now. Sadly, that’s rare and especially the corporate world, everybody kind of has this eager mentality that everybody’s against each other. And even if you’re on the same project wanting the best outcome with the people you’re surrounded with, all too often were just kind of bickering with each other.
And so that was a big impact for me. It transitioned everything. From then on, I think I had a different outlook on what define job for me or career, that future career, it wasn’t just about making money to then have fun and start to be able to do these things that I’m passionate about. I’m like, “How could I connect these things?” And guiding seemed to be one avenue that could kind of lead me in that direction of combining those passions with actually a career. And so it didn’t happen extremely fast at that point. It’s not like I next day went in and dramatically took all my stuff out of my office and left. But it was a slow movement from there. That was kind of the defining moment that transitioned me out of this corporate architecture world.
Dustin Myers: That’s really cool to hear about that. So you make this decision that that’s kind of the direction that you want to go and it’s fulfilling and what you want to do. How did you end up getting connected with National Geographic?
Danny Collins: Yeah. That was one of those two that I just kind of… As I started guiding, I got some chances to do some bigger trips. And that world is somewhat small. It’s interconnected. My then-girlfriend, now wife, actually she’s from South America. And so long story short, it’s kind of a funny topic of choice, but there was a really massive earthquake in Ecuador about five, six years ago now, even like seven years ago now. And the country, a lot of the private sectors were trying to look at this main epicenter as an opportunity to rebuild, focus on a new focus of the country, the holistic country of outdoor tourism, and seeing that as a field that they could play.
And so my wife was kind of getting involved with that. Her degree is in urban design. She got her masters when we were in New York City up in Columbia. And it just kind of got my name into a few different because I had the architecture in the business and then also have this guiding side and just somehow got positioned to the right individual that, “Man, this is exactly what we’re looking for to kind of focus on our experiences for the lodges that we are running,” and they’re in Ecuador. So they owned lodges in Downtown Quito, also in the rainforest itself, and then actually out in the Galapagos Islands. And so they were looking for somebody and they liked the idea of that person being American or European because that’s the majority of the tourists there.
And so it kind of was just meant to be that I was really just looking to maybe head out that way and start guiding in this beautiful country of Ecuador and trying to find a way to just make enough to eat and ended up kind of landing this amazing combination of managerial position. And it really was a perfect set of timing. I’m not extremely strong believer in luck, but there was something about the timing too that society was changing. And this is something that I think beyond all the glory of living in the Ecuadorian rain forest and running a National Geographic lodge and all that, that aspect of this, this unbelievably desired place to visit, I was getting to live there most of the time. Beyond that, really my job was focused on how do we attract a younger clientele that’s starting to travel for very different reasons. And so this super progressive company of National Geographic and these groups that were kind of running these lodges understood that their demographics are aging out.
So one of my main jobs was given the freedom and the time to how do we attract people my age or even people that are a little bit younger. So yeah, that was really how that came to be. And it was as dreamy as it sounds. It really was. I mean, beyond, again, just the glory of it, but the job title itself and the tasks associated with the job title were just the perfect fit for me in so many different ways. Yeah.
Jeremy Wells: That’s really cool. Yeah. Most of the guests we’ve had on the podcast have been in the hospitality industry in a different way, mostly on the hotel management or development side or just in these places that are tied to a specific location. And it’s really interesting to hear just kind of how you’ve taken guided experiences and morphed and used some of the principles from hospitality as well and design and architecture and just creative thinking and how you kind of mashed it up into this really unique offering. And there’s probably a lot that hospitality as an industry could learn from what you’re doing at 37 North and these guided experiences. But how do you kind of see all of that overlapping between what you do with these guided experiences and hospitality as an industry and as a mindset? What does that all look like to you in your mind?
Danny Collins: Yeah. I mean, I think the transition from the National Geographic, South America back here to home now where it’s just in the Ozarks and starting 37 North Expeditions, that really is kind of the key to where I look at our company as the hospitality first organization, even before a guiding service or anything like that. But to bring back to my time at the National Geographic lodge, again, the different hats I put on where, I mean, almost all of them were the hospitality focus, right? From the curation of the experiences to the meeting the clients when they stepped off into the lodge for the first time, it’s obviously very high-end type of clientele, to having dinner with them and talking back and forth about their experience. Every really hat had some sort of aspect of hospitality.
And coming from a design background, architecture background, I got that. It made sense to me. There’s a sense of professionalism. There’s a sense of comfortability and trust that comes with that sense of professionalism and quality, I guess, you could say. And so I think what struck me during my time there was that… and I battled this a lot. In the form of hospitality, you traditionally have… when you think of hospitality, I think at least until now, and Longitude is one of these leading groups and organizations that are thinking differently as well, but hospitality usually meant just a place to eat and a place to put your head. And I was pushing to think of hospitality as the side of the experience that you’re coming to have that goes way beyond just the places to eat and sleep.
And so I remember one of my very first tasks was to help transition the mindset at the lodge itself to these travelers are coming for the outdoors. And so even when they’re in the indoors with this amazing meal, when they’re with this beer or cocktail in their hand, they want to be thinking and talking about the experiences they’ve had or the experiences they’re going to have. They’re coming from the outdoors. And they want to learn from the cultural enriching experiences that come to traveling to a destination like Ecuador. Yeah, that’s partly talking to the guides in a more comfortable setting, outside of just the explorations and to learn about their history and their upbringing.
And so without beating the dead horse here, everything was an experience to me. And so unfortunately, I moved back in 2017 kind of abruptly. My father was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer actually, pretty young. He was only 55. And so I left that world behind, well, pretty much immediately. I mean, it was about a week after we found this out. I was back state side and my fiancé there to follow soon. And that just kind of transitioned me back here to where I grew up. And a lot going on, the outdoors became my kind of refuge from all of that, let’s be honest, more sad type of setting that I found myself in there for a little while. But on the other side of that, on the flips side, I just really fell in love with the Ozarks’ outdoors scene and just realized how much we have here to offer in Ozarks and why is it overlooked? Why is it taken for granted? Including myself, why was it taken for granted in so many ways?
And so that was the foundation of 37 North. And then when I started the organization alongside my wife, we wanted to be different than your traditional guiding service. And the best way to put that is we want it to be hospitality first organization. That to us was how can we make the outdoors this curated, unique, rich experience versus a traditionally Ozark outdoors and it’s kind of raw, and let’s be honest, the white man that wants to hunt our fish is kind of where we’ve been known to have our kind of focus on a history of the outdoor setting here in the Ozarks. And so we wanted to take a very different approach.
And so to kind of get back to your real focus of the question, everything we do at 37 North Expeditions is an exceptionally curated experience. Our main objective is to create more lasting memories, alongside more outdoor advocates just because they fall in love with our outdoor setting. And so it’s not as much a traditional guiding service where you think along the lines of, “I need your guide for life safety,” or any of those traditional thought processes. We make it really simple and really convenient and even more importantly, really, really fun and social to be outdoors and to kind of find your passion and fall in love with the outdoors, while connecting to yourself and connecting to nature, connecting to others. That was a very long answer to your question that I got there.
Dustin Myers: No, that’s amazing. So yeah, I mean, you’re living the dream, expedition manager at Nat Geo, one of the unique lodges of the world, and then tragedy hits and it brings you home. I’m curious kind of what your thought process is, as you were deciding what to do next. And you said that you kind of had a new view of the Ozarks and what it had to offer. I’m curious, I guess, just some of those moments during that period of your life and then some of the challenges that were ahead of you as you decided to launch into 37 North Expeditions.
Danny Collins: Yeah. I mean, I think there’s two main reasons for the founding of 37 North. And number one was just this ultimate goal of helping more people see how beautiful this backyard is. I think I was just dumbfounded when I really came back. And when I was here, it was more in the past, it was college and high school aged and it was obvious why I kind of took that stuff for granted, but it was a stark realization that the majority of our population, our community, and then even more so of kind of outdoor focused tourism has never really focused on the Ozarks and not seen in some of these incredible places they have to offer.
So that was really the main epiphany moment, if you might say, that a guiding service that curates these outdoor experiences, that helps bridge those gaps and takes down those barriers to the reasons why the Ozarks isn’t explored a little bit more often in the outdoor setting. It was kind of the main moment there. And then the second I think really was, to be honest and very transparent, I wanted to be in this world. I had found my dream, passion, and I had uprooted my… left my career, but I guess my architectural degree and history and behind and I wanted to find a way to kind of… so the marriage of those two things and being back in the Ozarks for an underdetermined amount of time allowed that to foster into something. And so that first year, we really tested out what this looks like. I will be very honest, that concept of guiding Midwesterners, especially in the Ozarks, get into a 15-passenger van and come to the outdoors with us is not a standard mindset of, you guys can relate to this because you both grew up in the Midwest as well, but it’s behind the California and New York settings where you’re a little bit more privy to pain for experiences per se.
So it was an incredible amount of just simple education at the beginning of what is this organization. That’s where we really did try to focus on like what I said is we are a hospitality company that we are just trying to make these incredibly beautiful, unique experiences that are focused on the outdoors and make them really easy for you to come. And then also, like I said, to put the Ozarks on the map for tourism. There are pockets of our Ozarks region that are rapidly growing. Bentonville, Arkansas, Northwest Arkansas in general is one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the world. And it’s because of the outdoors connection there, being in mountain biking and they’re bringing some of these other outdoor explorations. And so to kind of help with that, that focus on regional tourism and even national tourism, for ecotourism, target destinations of travelers. Yeah.
Jeremy Wells: Yeah. I want to touch them a little bit more on, as an entrepreneur and then you have, as you mentioned earlier, this event with your dad and you have to come home suddenly and kind of leave Ecuador pretty much overnight and your wife who was then your fiancé is coming with you, obviously there’s a lot of transition and just life transition happening at that moment, a lot of things going on. And then at the same time, I don’t know what the timeline was on all this, but like at the same time when you get back, you’re needing to be there for your dad, deal with family things, but then you also are starting this business and getting that off the ground. What were kind of the high points of those times and kind of the challenging low points? Were there moments where you just thought it was not going to happen and you just were going to go back to your role in an architecture job or some other thing? What was going through your mind through those, especially at first year back?
Danny Collins: Yeah. I mean, all of the above. I for the first time in my life had not just done what was best for me. When you’re 26 years old up until that point in life, generally, you’re doing what you want to do and what’s best for you and you got yourself focused first. And all of a sudden, overnight, that entire concept has just been uprooted for me, per se. So all the above to what you just said. I mean, I think that when I first moved back, it took a long time, and I knew it was going to be. So I actually did pretty much almost immediately kind of fall back into starting to doing some architectural consulting. That’s where I went to school. So I had some really great connections, luckily, and still had some great family connections and stuff in this area.
So I was able to find some ways to make money. But to be honest, just like any other entrepreneur probably has that there’s somebody or something that’s allowing them to take on the risk. Right? And so for me, it was this time in my period where I’m living with my family again, so that I can help take care of my father. It wasn’t even conceiving of a full-time job for the first, at least, eight months. I mean, the things, anybody that’s gone through a family member going through those, that first episode of a cancer diagnosis is very uprooting in so many ways. And I could be and I needed to be both for him and for me to be there through that process, instead of going to the chemotherapy, going to the radiation sessions, going to all that kind of stuff and helping him through that process was what my main focus was. But in turn now I look back and that allowed me to be just hyper flexible. I didn’t have expenses for that reason. So that was kind of probably one of those like almost lucky potential moments of being able to start a business and take on some of that potential risk.
And so that first year really was just testing what this could look out. I started to get money coming in from other ways. I wasn’t reliant on this in any aspect. Luckily, this type of service business doesn’t have a whole lot of serious upfront startup costs. But really it was a year-long test market. And we absolutely had massive moments of where we almost didn’t make it through. I’ve talked about these a lot, but there was everything from understanding the liability and the insurance on something that’s very different, especially for this area, I mean, to permitting access. When you talk to national parks and national forests and state parks and some of these public use areas, a guiding service wasn’t something that they’ve ever heard of in this region. Right? And so in a lot of ways, we were just creating something that nobody understood how to really handle and that being the tip of the sphere has a lot of benefits, but also has an unbelievable amount of headaches.
And so that first year was understanding everything from how do we advertise, how do we price, how do we create relationships and partners, what activities do we get into, how do we handle legality and insurance and stuff. And luckily, I could do that and kind of take it slow and test market these things. But the number one thing that was always from the very, very obvious is that it was more than just a day outside. It was higher ambitious from that and we are a hospitality first and that had to be represented in everything we did, from the logo, to the website. We had to create a sense of professionalism and respect in every single aspect of our organization, or if not, people were not going to trust us and we would have been just demolished if we didn’t create a very serious level of trust from the very beginnings of this type of organization.
Dustin Myers: Yeah. I love how you guys have kind of carved out a new niche. And as you describe it, you’re curating experiences. You’re not just a guide service. For the people that are listening who maybe aren’t familiar with your company, can you give us some examples of different experiences and some of the trips that you guys are doing?
Danny Collins: Yeah, absolutely. The way that we look at it is there’s two very different type of clientele that we are really focused on. One is the novice, beginner, and that doesn’t mean just beginner outdoors, and that could be a very avid hiker that is a beginner fly fisher, that’s a very avid paddler, that is a beginner horseback rider to kind of elongate on that, that wants two things. That individual wants comfortability and confidence. And they generally won’t have all the equipment and then they want the social component on it. Right? So that’s one type of user. The other type of user is curating more unique experiences that are for an intermediate or even maybe an advanced level individual in a certain activity type. That is, how do I put it, I guess, looking for more unique experiences.
And so one example of that could be somebody that is wanting to hike the entire Ozark Highlands Trail that we have. A lot of people don’t know this, but we have a 270-mile continuous trail, one of the greatest continuous hiking trails in the entire country, but lots of people can’t just take off time to go do 270 miles at one time, but we’ll do segments in one way so you don’t have to shuttle your own vehicles. That’s a different type of user. But most of our stuff is focused on these really… what have an equation called the Get Sweaty, Get Connected, Get Happy. And so everything has a component of a Get Sweaty, the active component. Everybody has some sort of Get Connected. And that’s the social component, whether that’s connected to yourself, nature or others, likely all three at one time. And then the Get Happy is just kind of that idea that everything is about having a good time in the outdoors.
And so we’ll have a horseback ride in winery, one of our popular ones, very beginner friendly, never have to have experience on a horse before to astronomy viewing and s’mores, to large kayaking trips and some of these rivers that you might not have heard of before. Two, the biking scene is amazing. We probably do mostly focus on the gravel biking scene. It’s very up and coming, but gravel ride out to a winery that’s on the outskirts of town, a 20, 30-mile bike ride, guided, and then we’ll end it at that winery or brewery or something for some social time and then we’ll bring you and your bike back because we got the equipment to do something like that. So again, those really fun, unique pairings of both physical and social activities is where we’re finding our niche, for sure.
Jeremy Wells: Yeah. And I guess a lot of people might not know this about you too, but you’re basically a field medic, right? Especially on mountain biking trips.
Danny Collins: You know that well, don’t you?
Jeremy Wells: Yeah.
Danny Collins: Yeah. I mean, as I say, I keep focusing more on that we are curating outdoor experiences. But the absolute most important aspect to this organization, I would be nowhere without, our guides. And all of our guides are wilderness first aid, if not more certified, Leave No Trace certified, CPR. And not saying that that’s our main focus, but we’re not trying to advertise it. That’s the only reason we’re there. But of course we do have the medical experience, the medical trainings to be there if something were to happen. And that is absolutely part of our organization. You can trust us and you can count on us. But yeah, the guides are just, I mean, incredible. Right now I think we have about 44 guys work with us in some capacity. And every one of them, and that’s the thing, the beauty of what I say, especially in the Ozarks, you could go on the same exact hiking trail with a different guide every time and have a completely different experience. They bring different personality types. They bring different backgrounds. They bring different expertise. And that’s part of the beauty is that they’re not there to lecture, but they probably could answer a lot of the questions you have. They’re not there to force you to do certain things at certain paces or anything like that, but they absolutely will make sure that we stay on track and time schedules and stuff like that.
And so yeah. I mean one of the most beautiful things about our organization is our diverse and fun and all of our guides, they’re first. They love the outdoors and they want to share that with other people.
Dustin Myers: Yeah. I mean, there’s a lot to it. And Jeremy knows based on our last mountain biking outing where you, me, and Jeremy and a few others were getting a little outside of our skill level and Jeremy took the spill. So we were grateful to have you there.
Jeremy Wells: Danny was there to save the day, luckily.
Dustin Myers: We got to see the professionalism in practice. It was awesome.
Danny Collins: And the inner tube is not just for biking tires, right?
Dustin Myers: That’s right.
Danny Collins: It’s when needed. Yeah.
Dustin Myers: So give us a snapshot of where you guys are at now. How many guides do you have? How many excursions are you doing weekly, locations? What does that look like right now?
Danny Collins: Yeah. So as I say, we have two different operations. It’s an interesting one. It’s a service industry, it’s a little bit different than a brick and mortar, but we have two main home bases at Springfield, Missouri and Bentonville, Arkansas, both with its own set of guides and a set of equipment and vehicles and trailers and all that kind of stuff. We’re doing around, I think, last year we brought about 4,000 people out on explorations with us from one capacity to another. Essentially, what we got is two main different components to our business plan and one is the single ticket sale events. And by that, I mean, we design fun, unique, no rhyme or reason to the schedule events that happen every single Saturday and every single Sunday. And we put those up and they’re open until tickets are sold out. And usually 12 to 15 people each. So small groups, but that’s kind of the very fun dynamic. And that’s the heart of the company really in a way that you can come along.
We tell our guides all the time is, “If there’s somebody that came alone, I don’t care how confident that individual is, that’s a big deal and we want to reward that and we want to focus on that and we want to play that role in an alternative form of healthy socialization for our community.” Right? People yearning to be outside with others, meet others. We all know it. It’s hard to socialize. It’s hard to meet new people when you’re at a certain age or above. And so we want to be that option to go meet people outside of just going to a bar scene or a dinner scene. Right? So that’s something we’re trying to do. That’s really important to us for our community.
We’ve got about 44 guides, I think, was the last time I counted. And like I said, that’s kind of mainly focused on these single ticket sales. Then the other side is we have a ton of private trips, right? Whether that’s lots of corporate events to tourism groups, small or large. Sometimes we have families coming in for a weekend, regional tourism. When we got here in a couple of months, I have a trip for a group of 10 coming in from South America. It’s going to be a full week long type of tour. So those are the kind of big distinguished parts. We do a ton of custom any day of the week experiences. And yeah, that’s a little bit about where we stand now. Honestly, I think every entrepreneur probably says this, but we’re in the most exciting portion of our company to date. And the main reason for that for me is that I have finally been able to let those two aspects of the company settle a little bit. We’re kind of established. We understand how that works. I mean, we’re still evolving in many ways there, but now I’m hyper-focused on some bigger picture ambitions for the organization. One of those being I guess both of them really in my mind, the ideal world that we sit in is how do we use the outdoors to combat much bigger societal issues? Right? How can the outdoors play a role in mental health issues and physical health issues and things like depression and obesity, right? Specifically, how can we use the outdoors for some of these bigger picture issues?
We’ve really started to hone in. This year, we’re expanding really strongly into corporate wellness as well into youth programming, I guess, is the easiest way to put it. Both of those have high ambitions to just serve our community and to bring the outdoors, not just as a focus of recreation. Right? I think all too often, the outdoors is thought of, “Well, that’s where I go. When I go, when I go get my workout in,” or, “That’s where I want to go and just like a walk to the park with my family.” But how do we create kind of synergy between programming and curriculum of schools alongside with corporate wellness and holistic health opportunities and stuff? So that’s a little bit of just kind of a batter on and on about that, but that’s what I get excited. That’s what we’re getting excited about as an organization now.
Jeremy Wells: It’s really cool. Yeah. I think the wellness, especially you mentioned that, and that kind of aspect of getting out in nature, getting out and socializing and all those different events and programming you’re doing these experiences that are curated or are helping, hopefully helping people even with, like you said, wellness issues or just like having a better understanding of how that can affect their health. And then recently, I don’t know if you saw this or not, but today I read an article about how doctors in Canada can now prescribe national park passes to patients. And I think that people are starting to realize how big of an effect being out in nature and being out in the sun and experiencing things can have on your health. So I definitely think that 37 North Expeditions is like the trailblazers in that, especially in this region. And like you said, Dustin and I wholeheartedly agree is like the Ozarks have so much to offer people in that regard. So it’s exciting to see how you and your company are kind of leading the way, especially in this area.
Danny Collins: Yeah, I appreciate it. I did see that too. They’re not the first to be talking in that kind of proactive sense and we’re having those types of conversations with healthcare and school systems. And yeah, it’s super exciting because it’s one of the most exciting things I think that about current society, to be honest, is that we are in a place where we’re thinking more proactively as humans, we’re thinking less robotically, we’re thinking more holistic health. All these things have started to kind of turn over into being open for conversation is, in our mind, the outdoors could be one of the facilitators to kind of solve some of those societal issues.
Yeah, I couldn’t agree more. I don’t understand why it’s taken so long, but those are the types of conversations we’re having there. Again, like I said, it’s much deeper than just a fun day in the woods. Right?
Dustin Myers: It’s been awesome to hear kind of about how you got into this and some of the ups and downs along the way. I want to ask one of our last questions. The name of the podcast is Future Hospitality. And we would just like to ask kind of where you see yourself going in the future and how the experiences and lessons that you’ve learned so far are shaping that.
Danny Collins: Yeah. There are so many aspects, so much I’ve learned from starting an organization like this. I mean, beyond just my first real dive into entrepreneurship in general, I’m super excited about the future of, I guess, that experiences, is the best way to put it. I know that’s kind of like a very simple way to put it, but people are across the world are starting to understand the need and the want and the desire to have unbelievable rich cultural or different types of experiences. And that’s the mindset that’s changing from just simple, “Hey, we used to spend all our money on goods traditionally, especially in this country on goods.” And that’s where I’m most excited for is because I think that our generation of us three I think kind of fit in that millennial and the generation behind us, this Gen Z, is just pushing limits in different ways and their desire to spend their money and spend their time more importantly on very different things than past generations that I think is going to reshape our entire society, but especially what the world of hospitality.
And so something that I’m super passionate about I am an architect. I still absolutely love the built world. I absolutely love the concept of that, that blending of the built world and natural world. And so I’m finding myself more and more passionate about this experience side of the hospitality and how I can take that to a little bit further than just programming outdoor spaces, but I’m really digging deeper into that ride that I see as changing a lot. But overall, I think that the most exciting thing about our current situation, even if there’s ever a bit of positivity to come out of the pandemic that we all are still in is this connection to the outdoor world and to experiences in general and the need to see places and to be with others while we’re doing it. So that’s kind of a more generic sense, but I think if anything I could see myself really focused more on, taking this what I’ve learned about this experience hospitality focused mindset into much bigger endeavors.
Jeremy Wells: That’s really awesome. Well, I certainly can’t wait to see where the next stage of your journey leads you. It’s been really fun and awesome to hear your stories and where you’re headed. So appreciate your time, Danny.
Danny Collins: Yeah, guys, I appreciate it so much. And what a great resource for all of us to get to listen to. We can learn from so much from each other. I love listening to your guys’ podcasts and others that are similar that are just kind of showcasing different points of view and different stories and backgrounds. So appreciate what you guys do a lot.
Dustin Myers: Awesome, Danny. Well, we’ll see you on the trails.
Danny Collins: All right. Catch you later.