COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL)– The pandemic has forced people to take a break and enjoy outdoor activities like biking, zip-lining, and white water rafting. People finding a newfound interest in these activities has caused Whitewater Express to have an increase in business.

Operations Manager, Daniell Gilbert told News 3, 2021 was one of their best years despite being a year into the pandemic.

“This past year was outstanding, we’re looking at it as being a rebound year and getting people back outside. We found that they came in droves, so we had people come from all over the country and really all over the world to Columbus, Phenix City to go rafting. We actually had bigger numbers this past year than we had in 2019 so, when we were looking at past years’ success we pushed it up against the numbers from 2019 versus 2020 of course which was a flunky year in 2020,” Gilbert said.

Gilbert believes COVID had a small influence on people wanting to get outside and enjoy nature again.

“I definitely would not say that it was COVID that boosted it but people’s desire to get outside and do more adventures things with their life was pushed to new limits after COVID,” Gilbert said.

Whitewater Express offers a variety of activities such as biking, zip-lining, inflatable kayaking trips, and more. Gilbert said most people come to experience whitewater rafting.

“Oh they’re all excellent, it’s one of those things where you may have half the family come and they just love whitewater rafting and they’re gung-ho about it. Then the other half may love zip-lining, so there’s something for everybody here. Whether you’re a water person or you like soaring across over the water, it doesn’t matter we’ve got something for you here,” Gilbert said.

Gilbert said he’s looking forward to what the New Year has in store for Whitewater Express.

“I think this actually going to be the most exciting year that we’ve had on the Chattahoochee River. We’ve got so much coming up between the World Cups, which will be this upcoming fall 2022, for Whitewater Kayaking. You’ll see some of the best Whitewater athletes in the world all flocking down to Columbus to compete and following that we’ve got the World Championships 2023. So, we’ve got back-to-back years of major excitement, and then on top of that just another year of Whitewater rafting, zip-lining of course. So, if there was ever a time to find a new passion or hobby, now is the time and we can make that happen,” Gilbert said.