Zip lining's popularity grows around Missouri and the world
NEW FLORENCE - As the weather starts to cool off across the state, some tourists and thrill seekers may be looking for one last adventure.
And many might find it closer than they anticipated.
Zip lining is one of the fastest growing outdoor activities in the world. According to ZipLineRider.com, the industry has grown 30-percent since 2014. Now there are zip line courses in 72 countries across 6 continents.
The trend also spread to Missouri, which now features almost 20 zip line courses around the state.
One of those locations, Eco Zipline Tours in New Florence, won the Pathfinder Award at this year's Missouri Governor's Conference on Tourism. The award recognized the tour for finding a new market in the state and bringing people into it.
Owner and founder of Eco Ziplines Mike Seper said zip lining is a great way to get people outside and active.
"[Zip lines are] a reason for people to get outside, and families to go out and play," Seper said. "The zip line is a great opportunity to see something really beautiful."
Rob Riffle, a tourist trying to get outside before the weather got worse, can tell that zip lining is expanding globally.
"The first time I had ever heard of ziplining was probably 10 years ago in down in Cancún [Mexico], and we didn't do it then," Riffle said. "It just seems like it's really taking over."
One of the workers at Eco Zipline Tours, Jim Day, said his favorite part about working with zip lines is helping people get over their fears.
"People will come in and they'll be a little apprehensive about it, and once they start going and start trusting the gear then they have a really good time with you outside," Day said.
Despite the appeal to zip line, not only has zip lining's popularity increased, but so has the total number of injuries.
To learn more about the increase in risks and how Eco Zipline Tours created a unique way to prevent problems, read part two of this story later on Wednesday.