Company Name: Alaska Wildland Adventures
Location: Girdwood, AK
Nature of Business: Wilderness adventure vacations
Revenue: $4.2 million
Number of Employees: 76
Average Tenure: 7.5 years
Based in the mountains forty miles south of Anchorage, Alaska Wildland Adventures has been sharing a unique passion for this land with outgoing travelers since 1977. Their president, Kirk Hoessle, began his career by leading their original safari trip into the backcountry and has seen the business expand to include 76 employees, over sixty trip departures, and two remote lodges (with a third in the planning and design process). He still considers himself “just an employee”. This is a business that really honors its employees, while receiving great support from them in return. For example, it survived the post 9/11 travel depression in part through each employee volunteering to take a month of unpaid time off. During this off time, the company made its lodges available for vacationing and provided ski passes for the local slopes. With a remarkably strong community of returning seasonal guides and a dedicated group of core staff, the company remains actively engaged in efforts to promote sustainability in local business, environmental sensitivity, and enchantment for those who know them as hosts and friends.