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VENDOR'S FORUMS => Lure of the North => : DMarrone November 03, 2017, 08:11:38 AM

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: Welcome!
: DMarrone November 03, 2017, 08:11:38 AM
Thanks for your interest and visiting our forum! 

Lure of the North is owned and operated by Dave and Kielyn Marrone.  This company is a dream of ours that we operate out of our remote wilderness property in northeastern Ontario.  We provide guided snowshoe expeditions from 3 - 18 days in length, gear crafting workshops across Ontario, and a wide range of traditional winter travel clothing and equipment including finished products and DIY kits. 

Looking forward to continuing to connect with the fantastic members of this community in the years to come!
: Re: Welcome!
: Moondog55 November 05, 2017, 05:07:13 PM
Well "Hello" back
First question is simple
Do we active forum members get a discount on your guided trips?
I've visited your site a few times but the cost has scared me off so far
: Re: Welcome!
: GearFreak November 05, 2017, 06:07:27 PM
I've visited your site a few times but the cost has scared me off so far

Hey Moondog,

They actually offer a pretty good value.  I lead and organize trips for a local not for profit and my west coast trail trip was cost shared at about C$1,500 each.  If you look at other backcountry outfitters - never mind hunting and fishing guides - they have good value for the $ invested.

Having been on a few guided events - not LOTN mind you - I can say that you generally get your money's worth and it has to be looked as the cost of a life experience.  Your takeaway is the memories.

Running a business is not cheap.  They gotta eat too!

: Re: Welcome!
: Undersky November 05, 2017, 09:58:40 PM
May I add to GF's thoughts, please?

If you look strictly at the cost per day per client for two guides and a fully catered trip, the costs are completely reasonable, a bargain, in fact.

If you look at all of the year-round time, training, and learning that goes into providing an excellent, fully catered trip, the cost per client per day is wonderful!

Add overhead, income tax, Employment Insurance, self-funded retirement savings, self-funded insurance (liability, medical, dental, vision, injury, etc.) and the fact that the occupation is inherently demanding and unforgiving, we are getting a vital part of Dave and Kielyn's lives at a bargain basement price!

For example: A person can be on crutches, or in a wheel chair, or 64 yrs old and very out-of-shape and still be a school teacher making about $500.00 per working day before all deductions, and even gets paid on a sick day. Being sick as a guide on the trail is hell, and at home means the work keeps piling up even deeper! Overall training time? I'd argue that, all in, it is the same for a passionate teacher as it is for a passionate wilderness guide.

LOTN's two week trip is around 1950.00/2 weeks or $150/day. I say "Cheap!!"  I have taken kids on sea kayaking trips with outfitters charging $240.00 per paddler per day! (and they sold their one-season-old kayaks and equipment every fall for a profit over their equip costs) A cheap river boat cruise in Europe will cost you $275.00 day, and you haven't bought your own not-included evening meal yet!

Bottom line: you get heart, soul, brains, guts, more knowledge than you can absorb, and personal, meaningful smiles from your very hard working and happy guides 17 hours/day.....and maybe for 3 days x 24 hours/day in a row if something goes wrong with you, and you need help. No wilderness guide ever gets rich at LOTN's prices, but they deserve to!

I say a fine deal at twice the price, and I would encourage members to pay full pop even if offered a discount.

Sorry to jump on this one MD55, but your comment struck a chord.

Okay, done now, ...... anyone else want this soap box?
: Re: Welcome!
: Moondog55 November 06, 2017, 01:00:43 AM
Hey Nothing wrong with asking

Soap-box vacant
I absolutely get that beginners pay a premium but a few dollars off would pay for more beer.
And there's nothing wrong with beer if it's good.
The trouble is not in the cost but the cost in Australian rupees/pesos as the exchange rate is not in my favour, the American dollar being way over valued at the moment and looking unlikely to change.
Unfortunately I've worked in hospitality all my life so anything more than minimum wage feels like a fortune to me and a lot depends on how much my beloved father left me as my share of the inheritance.
I also think $150- a day is cheap but in AUD but it works out at $235- at the moment
: Re: Welcome!
: AunNordDuNord November 06, 2017, 02:41:58 AM
That is life. Us Canadian live with poor dollar value every day every year(ok, in the 80's, our dollars was actually higher than the US and we were at par at some point not so long ago...but for a really short term lol) Everything is available in the US and very little is here in Canada. For exemple, fabric, Really cheap in the US and availability of really fine stuff.... But when you do the math on the exchange rate, the same fabric is a lot more money, we basically loose 30 cents on every dollars plus shipping, plus tax, plus duty(when applicable). That is why the the dollar you buy stuff in your own country.... I guided for years, dog mushing, canoeing, and man ho man you don't get rich doing it... Now I'm self employed woodworker/carpenter/canoe outfitter/canoe fixer/paddle maker/sewer/etc etc and I can tell you that there is no days off and if there is, there is no money coming in!!

: Re: Welcome!
: DMarrone November 06, 2017, 07:53:52 AM
Thanks guys for the very kind words of support and articulating some of the challenges of making a living as a guide better than I could!

This is an interesting first topic for our forum!

Our trips are all sold out for this coming winter, and sold out last winter as well.  Supply and demand theory suggests we should be increasing our prices, and we had that very discussion this past summer, but decided we wanted to keep our trips as accessible as we could to as many people as possible.  We particularly wanted to ensure the folks that have joined us for years and years and helped us to build our business and lifestyle could continue to join us, but we didn't want to offer deeply tiered prices, because I don't like the idea of different people paying different costs for the same service (returning guests do get a small discount, which they can combine with our "early bird" discount).  So there's some top-secret, behind-the-scenes insight into our pricing strategy!

That same principle of keeping our trips (or your own trips) accessible extends to our equipment recommendations.  Even as a clothing manufacturer and retailer, we continue to recommend scouring the thrift stores or following our free instruction booklets as a way to minimize costs and get out there!

Prices are in CAD, not USD, and no worries about saving money for beer as wine and spirits are served with supper  ;)

If you are thinking about a great Canadian adventure of a lifetime, then I'd encourage you to consider joining one of our trips in the future.  Every one of the 8 participants on our 2-week trip this coming winter are returning guests from 2017 trips, which I hope says a lot about the value they found in our trips.

Ps. I'd encourage you to join a trip sooner than later, both Gearfreak and Undersky have given me compelling arguments to consider a price increase for 2019  ;D
: Re: Welcome!
: buddhabelly November 06, 2017, 07:55:59 AM
I couldn't find anything on their site but I would believe their prices are in CAD and not USD so exchange is insignificant really.

If you want sticker shock, price out a guided northern river trip, your jaw will drop.

I've never taken a LoTN trip but find those prices pretty fair and not onerous. Compare these to a trip on the Ghan (kind of a bucket list trip) and it won't look so bad. Airfare will be the huge cost if you come over ;)

edit- haha, Dave beat me to it re:exchange
: Re: Welcome!
: DMarrone November 06, 2017, 08:12:37 AM
We tried once to implement software that would display prices in your local currency - that was onerous! I guess we do need to at least have a note somewhere obvious stating CAD pricing if there's confusion around that. 
: Re: Welcome!
: buddhabelly November 06, 2017, 08:40:54 AM
a small note would be easiest, probably somewhere top corners or the logo. At least this is what other sites I visit, do. or better yet, maybe below the 'Shopping Cart'
: Re: Welcome!
: Moondog55 November 06, 2017, 03:45:21 PM
OH !!
If prices are in CAN$ then things look much better from my perspective. I am just so used to businesses based overseas displaying prices and costs in USD$

The Ghan is a silver service trip tho and I'd never take it but I do hear that people regard it as one of the "Last Great train journeys" me? I'd rather drive, no road speed limit on that highway and I could really put the foot down and see how fast the old truck really is

Dads will hasn't been opened yet but my planning with Southcove was for 2020.
If I do manage it I guess that would be notice enough?
That lead time I'll need anyway to get my clothing and mukluks made
This discussion make me realise how cheap air travel is with the big carriers I can fly Melbourne New York for $1550- AUD$ Return at the moment
No offense intended Mr Marrone
: Re: Welcome!
: buddhabelly November 06, 2017, 05:34:33 PM
unless you really need to fly into the states, I strongly suggest final destination as Canada. one less border hassle and flight to add to the itinerary. I think Qantas is supposed to begin Melb --> Vancouver service soon. Sucks that flights end in Sydney and one has to grab another flight to get to Melb, which is WAAAAY better than Sydney imo ;)

Basically, I suggest you check your bags in at Tullamarine and pick them up in Toronto. unless you want to visit B.C...
: Re: Welcome!
: DMarrone November 07, 2017, 05:16:06 AM
No offense intended Mr Marrone

None taken, though I figured it was worth giving some insight into how we arrive at our costs. Wherever you go on your big Canadian trip, I hope you have a great adventure!
: Re: Welcome!
: Slush Walker November 07, 2017, 08:37:25 AM
It was great to see you at the Winter Symposium this year. Thanks so much for making the trip to MN and sharing your expert skills and knowledge with the traditional camping community. Hope to see you there in the future.

Have a great winter tripping season! I am really looking forward to hear how your Life on the Trapline trip works out. That is a truly a unique opportunity.

: Re: Welcome!
: awbrown: N. Illinois, USA November 07, 2017, 05:58:20 PM
Trust me, when you spend a bit of time with the Lure of the North folks you will be very impressed with their humor, intelligence, enthusiasm, charm and charisma. There is a reason they have lots of repeat customers.
: Re: Welcome!
: Moondog55 November 08, 2017, 03:38:08 PM
Sending a PM to LOTN
: Re: Welcome!
: DMarrone November 11, 2017, 09:10:15 PM
Thanks Art and SW for the very kind words.  Yes, we'll definitely be back to the winter symposium, hopefully for many years to come!
: Re: Welcome!
: kie November 15, 2017, 10:15:54 AM
Hi everyone!

I am the one that primarily does our Facebook and Instagram photos and Dave has been the trusty forum respondent. I thought since some of you do not use social media that I should use this forum to inform you of all the latest and greatest updates from our side of the Pond. I'll mostly be sharing content so if you want to see photos don't hesitate to check us out on Instagram as @lureofthenorth and Facebook as @lureofthenorth. You do not need an account to view our posts.

I also wanted to use this opportunity to give a massive thank you to our loyal followers and customers. This year we have sold out of all of our expeditions back in September, only three weeks after we released our schedule. Our two-week Missinaibi expedition is compiled of all returning participants which I think says a lot about the camaraderie that is formed through these types of trips. Without the continued support and positive encouragement that you've shown us, we would not be doing what we do.

Thank you!  ;D