I still remember the day that I had my first meeting with RTO4 (Region of Tourism 4 which is Wellington County). We met at a local coffee place and they started to tell me more about the direction of tourism in our area. I would have never imagined that years later, we would be where we are now. ONE AXE Pursuits started 17 years ago in the basement guestroom where we worked on a cell phone that you could only make calls on. It was a time before FaceBook, Instagram and Twitter. Can you even remember those days?
Fast forward into the present and we were fortunate enough to be part of a Tourism Cafe workshop in Elora. They challenged us to think differently about our company. To get out of the box. As a small business owner, I think many can relate to me that you can often feel isolated. It sometimes feels like you have to do it all alone. Through the workshop, I learned how to branch out and partner with others. The best part was that I not only had to trust other businesses but that they all exceeded my expectations.
I pulled together Older Voices who ran the historical tours, ONE AXE Pursuits ran the face-first rappelling stunt, the tour of our 1877 renovated church building and the 60-ft rappel down the cliff in our dinner clothes to the bottom of the gorge. We had professional designer, Inner Joy decorate the natural setting while Denis Fontana and Fran Weima catered the event. Chris Sharpe from Elora Festival serenaded us with cello music while guests dined beside the river. The event went off spectacularly and it taught me to trust my partners. I clearly laid out my expectations and they met them. Partnerships may take time logistically, but when everyone comes together and does their best, you can pull off an event that everyone remembers.
The end product is in this video which amalgamates the essence of me (Christa). A foodie who loves adventure.