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Old 05-07-2012, 04:07 PM
 
Location: North Dakota
740 posts, read 1,202,332 times
Reputation: 501

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Hello guys and gals. I am an adventure-seeker and gold prospector and I have been living in Ecuador, South America for almost a year and a half now. I am working on an adventure based website designed to show off the natural beauty of Ecuador and the rest of South America. I have dozens of leads I will be following up on, and this will be with 4 other friends who are from various parts of the world.

Some of my upcoming trips:

-A helicopter chartered flight into a remote region of Central Ecuador in search of gold. An indigenous aquaintance of mine worked with a small crew dredging this location over 10 years ago when the gold was worth much less. He assisted in verifying the quanity so I feel it is worth the risk.

-A 3 day hike to one of the world's most active volcanoes. This is for the sole purpose of filming this rugged and beautiful volcano. Some insane people climb it, but I hope to just film it and take numerous photos. Very dangerous to even be near it. Lots of gold legends revolving around it as well.

-Climbing many of the peaks in Ecuador. Some are glaciated and are fairly technical to climb.

-Rafting down and prospecting down the Napo river, which is the tributary of the Amazon. There are many other rivers I would like to raft prospect on as well. I would be placing wildlife motion sensing cameras when I stop for the night, away from my camp, to photograph the spectacular wildlife of the Amazon.

Making many expeditions into the Llanganatis Mountain Range which is famous for its beauty, danger and ruggedness and is the site of the infamous Atuahalpas treasure horder from almost 500 years ago. I have major connections to explorers who have made dozens of expeditions for months at a time into this dangerous area of the world.

Many prospecting trips through out Ecuador with the sole purpose of finding gold. We will never reveal the river we are working while prospecting for obvious security reasons. It is mainly to show how to responsibly prospect and mine gold without using chemicals like mercury and cyanide. We may mention the name of the river system after we have explored it thoroughly.

A spelunking trip into the Tayos Cave system. This cave system is huge, partially unexplored and is the supposed location of the Metallic Library and has numerous other treasure legends. I am an experienced caver, but would be hiring local guides who are familiar with the cave system.

One trip I am very excited about is in search of a lost Emerald mine that hasn't been found since the 1800s. It was found, and lost again. It is even in the historical archives in Quito.

I have some wicked connections including in the government itself and I feel I can make this happen. Just curious as to your thoughts. Would this be successful? Would you frequently watch it? Can you think of any ways to bring in income using it to help support all of my expeditions? We have some experienced prospectors, including myself, in our group. Ecuador is a very gold rich country and our chance of finding gold, given time, is very high.

Would affiliate marketing, and sponsors be a decent income stream? We will be using high end gear. We will also explain all the equipment being used for each expedition.

This site is for those who love adventure and who would love to witness some of the amazing sites you will find in the Amazon basin and Andes mountains. I personally find all of South America very mysterious.

I guess my final question would be...would this work?

Thanks
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Old 05-07-2012, 04:14 PM
 
834 posts, read 916,877 times
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Short of landing a major sponsorship that would funnel both cash and copious hits to the website, the answer is unfortunately, no. You'll be lucky to have a hundred regular visitors a month - maybe a 1,000 if you do a lot of marketing - and if you generate $50 a month from that, I'd say you did well.

If it were me, I'd probably try to do something unique here, perhaps some kind of investment scheme where $100 gets you 1% of any gold recovered or whatever. You'd still need some legitimization behind it, so I'd try to get in US News, BusinessWeek, WSJ etc. Come up with an angle that sounds interesting like "Gold prospecting from your couch; a new reality?" or "Funding expeditions a dollar a time; new website concept launches" or "The New Kiva: microfunding strategies for science". Something like that. Bring legitimacy to the concept through partnerships with Northface or something of that nature. Of course, thats easy to say, hard to do.

But, take it from someone who has run many a websites.... Visitors, unless you are counting them in the hundreds of thousands, are not likely to bring in substantial revenue from advertising. Affiliate links tend to do better if you have a long term captive audience, but it takes time to build.

It is worth noting though that I've never worked in or know anyone who has done anything remotely resembling funding expeditions, so I may be wrong.

Last edited by chicagotodc; 05-07-2012 at 04:23 PM..
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Old 05-07-2012, 04:26 PM
 
Location: North Dakota
740 posts, read 1,202,332 times
Reputation: 501
Honestly, I feel my first gold trip that i have planned will bring in a pretty decent income. I have prospected in the lower tributaries of this river system and found good gold. The natives were a pain though, even though we did things legally. Now we are going to be hitting an inaccessible by foot location and not have to deal with those specific locals anymore. Thanks for the advice though.
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Old 05-07-2012, 04:53 PM
 
19,805 posts, read 15,219,858 times
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So if I understand this you're wanting to do an Equador adventure? As in your website is the place to book these adventures?

You provide the guides, supplies, lodging and perhaps flights or in country transportation for such adventures?

While I don't see a huge demand for such a service. However, there might the market and niche. It would be worth looking further into. I am guessing you can market online, through outdoor adventure retail establishments, outdoor film festivals.
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Old 05-07-2012, 05:05 PM
 
Location: North Dakota
740 posts, read 1,202,332 times
Reputation: 501
Quote:
Originally Posted by SD4020 View Post
So if I understand this you're wanting to do an Equador adventure? As in your website is the place to book these adventures?

You provide the guides, supplies, lodging and perhaps flights or in country transportation for such adventures?

While I don't see a huge demand for such a service. However, there might the market and niche. It would be worth looking further into. I am guessing you can market online, through outdoor adventure retail establishments, outdoor film festivals.
No, this isn't it at all. It is simply me filming my group and some of the crazy trips we will go out on. Hundreds of photos and hours of video on each of our expeditions. People rarely get to see the raw nature of a country like Ecuador and to be able to witness the natural beauty of the Amazon rainforest. I have no intention of a tour type setup.

I don't really feel like making income of the website would be too important early on. I think people will enjoy seeing some crazy people in extreme situations. I guess sort of think Gold Rush Alaska, or survival type shows, accept not on a professional level.
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Old 05-07-2012, 05:37 PM
 
19,805 posts, read 15,219,858 times
Reputation: 16172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alaskan_Adventurer View Post
No, this isn't it at all. It is simply me filming my group and some of the crazy trips we will go out on. Hundreds of photos and hours of video on each of our expeditions. People rarely get to see the raw nature of a country like Ecuador and to be able to witness the natural beauty of the Amazon rainforest. I have no intention of a tour type setup.

I don't really feel like making income of the website would be too important early on. I think people will enjoy seeing some crazy people in extreme situations. I guess sort of think Gold Rush Alaska, or survival type shows, accept not on a professional level.
Ok. The goldrush, survival man, ax men etc are played out and frankly boring.

If you've ever watched some of the Warren Miller Ski films excellent views, interesting story, humor, and a good story to tell; stuff like that would be interesting.

You can produce this stuff fairly easy. However, with youtube and other avenues I am not sure you could capitalize on such adventures.
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Old 05-08-2012, 07:01 AM
 
Location: New Jersey
3 posts, read 14,599 times
Reputation: 15
I think without further monetizing this, it's not a viable business venture. It just reads like a hobby at this point, and it essentially is your hobby now.
You can't rely on finding gold to fund your adventures, as likely as you feel you'll find some. With every business venture you have to gamble a lot, but there are definitely things to do that are less risky and more tried and true.
Some options I can think of for you are writing travel guides, an e-book/paper book about your adventures, how to go on such adventures, a biography, travel guides, etc..
and though you said you weren't planning to do tours...why not? Once you're comfortable leading people it'd be a great way to earn more money off this.
I'm sure there are more ways to make money off of this. Try googling it.
That said, I hope it works out for you. If this is what you really want, you shouldn't give up. At least you can said you had an exciting time!
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Old 05-09-2012, 06:45 AM
 
7,339 posts, read 7,734,926 times
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I think its a great idea. Unfortunately it sounds like you will need a lot of money to get it off the ground. Good luck with that.
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Old 05-16-2012, 07:32 AM
 
Location: Galloway, NJ
1,907 posts, read 2,411,660 times
Reputation: 1656
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alaskan_Adventurer View Post
Some of my upcoming trips:

-A helicopter chartered flight into a remote region of Central Ecuador in search of gold.
I guess you could pan for gold, but any serious gold mining requires a lot more equipment that can be carried by a helicopter in a single trip.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alaskan_Adventurer View Post
I have prospected in the lower tributaries of this river system and found good gold. The natives were a pain though, even though we did things legally.
Well that's exactly what locals want, more competition for there gold. Who can blame them.
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Old 05-16-2012, 09:34 AM
 
25,273 posts, read 27,388,177 times
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I think it's very viable from an adventure tourism standpoint. Don't listen to the naysayers.

But you'll need to be highly focused in how you do it. You need to sell it more from the adventure standpoint than the 'strike it rich' standpoint, because the people who can afford this kind of travel don't need to be panning for gold in some South American stream. Companies like Adventure Travel have done quite well, after all, in this niche of the market.

To me, the first thing you need is to build a really good website, and follow it up with some seriously boffo PR. We're talking Conde Nast Traveler, the WSJ, the NYT, Robb Report, Outside Magazine, and a few others that cater to people with lots of discretionary income who want something different. Combine it with a trip to the Galapagos and you're golden.

At the same time, you need to make sure you're creating a total experience for people. Such as good food, eco-guides who know their stuff, comfortable accommodations (Even if it's a tent), etc. Neglect that, and you're dead.

All this requires capital. There's no way you'll bootstrap this thing. Maybe if you've panned enough gold, you've got money. But I wouldn't even think of starting this thing with less than $250,000. $500,000 would be better.
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