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Rogue River Rafting Outfitters Struggling

, Written by Christine Pitawanich, Posted: Fri, August 9 2013 at 5:36 PM, Updated: Fri, August 9 2013 at 7:00 PM

Rogue River rafting outfitters said they're struggling to stay afloat.

Portions of the river have been closed because of the fires. As a result, rafting outfitters said they're losing as much as $10,000 a day.

Now they're asking for help from Josephine County officials before it's too late and they go belly-up.

The future is uncertain for some rogue river rafting outfitters who depend on summer tourism.

"Today is day nine that we've been closed now that we can't operate," said Brad Niva, owner of Rogue Wilderness Adventures.

"It's an absolute nightmare what happened to us."

The fires in the area started up at the worst possible time and shut down portions of the Rogue River.

"The two biggest weeks that my company takes in the most revenue is August 1st through basically August 12th this Monday," said Niva.

"This was the year we were coming back. This is the year we were actually putting money in the bank and to have shutdown, it's putting us down into a death spiral to be honest with you."

He said it's become so bad that he and his wife are planning to tap into their personal retirement to pay bills.

On Friday the Josephine County Commissioners called an emergency meeting trying to look at ways to help outfitters.

"We're going to enter into a pretty robust dialogue with the Governor's office as far as what the state can and should do," said Josephine County Commissioner Simon Hare.

Meantime, Brad Niva said the Rogue River is just as important as any city. It's an economic engine with about 1000 jobs connected to it.

That's why he's hoping officials can give him and others in his industry some help...and fast.

Commissioner Simon Hare said cumulatively, outfitters are losing $100,000 per day.

Niva said they're still running day trips. It's just the longer trips through the wild and scenic portion that has been canceled and hitting them hard.

 

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About the Author

Christine Pitawanich

Christine Pitawanich was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. In 2010, she received a master's degree in Broadcast Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in New York.

Christine also has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of Washington.

Before joining the NBC5 News team, she had the opportunity to file reports from Washington D.C. for WFFT FOX Ft. Wayne News in Indiana. Christine has also interned at KOMO-TV in Seattle.

Christine loves to ski, try new food and have fun in the outdoors.

Catch Christine anchoring weekdays on NBC 5 News at 5pm.

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