For those riding with Vegas Off Road Tours, I often say, “You’re riding on an old man’s dream”. A dream that was birthed during our family’s summer vacations in Oceano, California.
A perfect place to empty the stress from a hard years work, and a perfect place to dream.
For my father, the visionary that ignited it all, Oceano served up a powerful punch of adventure.
That quaint summer beach house, overlooking the ocean and all the off-road vehicles venturing onto the sand, was filled with views of family fun, big smiles, and adventures waiting to happen.
By the second summer of these vacations, I recall my dad’s brave words to our family, You guys watch me. I’m gonna do this one day.
That was summer 2005.
With a home residency in Las Vegas, the three years that followed were filled with consistent effort and thoughtful research on how to perfect an off-road rental company.
There was no overnight combustion of business operations and no customers knocking down the door begging for an off-road adventure.
Instead, it was a slow and methodical piecing out of parts, vehicles, location, license, insurance, business name and the like.
A rather daunting process for one man and his dream.
Besides all the moving pieces required to launch an off-road company, it was finding the perfect vehicle and location that seemed to be the most difficult and most important to lock into place.
On October 31st, 2008, Mel and Deb rented their first off-road vehicles, a 2008 RZR UTV – the first of the side by sides – and a sandrail with a hyboosa engine.
They were one of, if not, the first company to bring the RZR side by sides to the rental market in Las Vegas.
Launch location? Dumont Dunes, California.
Although Dumont provided benchmarking experiences like, first customers, first wrecked vehicle and a taste of what business in the off-road community would be like, it was just the start.
From Oceano to Dumont to Goodsprings
It would take another four years navigating the nearby desert terrain of Las Vegas.
Their weekends and vehicles would slowly become filled with occasional off-road enthusiast or a family looking for fun outside the Las Vegas strip.
Hauling equipment out to Dumont, there wasn’t a place to call home and almost all the mechanical work would be done in the garage, by my father.
Then, something shifted…
Summer 2012, between a moment of exhaustion and uncertainty in direction, a welcomed call came in with a location they had hoped for.
A small community thirty minutes south of the Las Vegas strip, Goodsprings is quietly tucked away, surrounded by green trees, rich with gorgeous views and thousands of miles of trails – right in their own backyard.
Home sweet home.
Building a reputable off road company that has served thousands of customers from all over the world, in one of the largest international cities, has proven to be one of the most challenging and rewarding projects my parents have tackled to date.
Curious to hear their thoughts on this idea, this is what they shared on thirteen years from the launch of this adventure:
My dad on knowing what he knows now, would you still have done it?
I pretty much-anticipated everything that was coming. But I didn’t anticipate how much it would consume your life. I was more of the mindset…Geez, once you get this going it almost runs itself. How time-consuming, money consuming, it was and still can be – well for me it was.
On his biggest mistake that turned out to be his greatest strength?
Trusting people and the right partnership has proven difficult.
I’d say my stubbornness has been what’s turned out to be my biggest strength. I had determined I wouldn’t let this company fall into the wrong hands. Ultimately, it’s my business and I have to succeed at it.
Both my parents on what has been the most rewarding part of operating an off-road company in the middle of the Mojave Desert:
I think your father and I would both agree the thing we appreciate and enjoy about this business is meeting all kinds of wonderful people from all over the world. From very diverse backgrounds.
Sitting right here, in the small community of Goodsprings, they come to us excited about seeing and riding through the mountainous desert on UTVs. We get to share that with them. This is our pleasure!
One word most of our customers use in thanking us for the experience is hospitality.
I think it’s a strange word to use along with the off-roading adventure. But that is how they usually feel. Maybe because we offer such a down-home ride and make them feel like a part of our family – simply out riding for the day.
It is a joy to us sharing the desert with people from all over the world. They usually come again and bring others with them! Because of this, we have been able to really get to know our customers as our friends — an extension of our off-roading family.
– Vort Family