GREER — Zipping through the trees high above the forest floor at more than 30 miles per hour is something the thrill seeker can experience very soon without having to travel far from home.
A world-class zipline destination is opening Aug. 1 at Tree Frog Canopy Tours, at 21899 Wally Road near Greer.
Knox County Commissioners Teresa Bemiller, Allen Stockberger and Bob Wise made the trip to Greer in the Mohican Valley on Monday to get a first-hand look at the business before it opens next month. Also attending were Pat and Sandy Crow from the Knox County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The group received a brief overview of what a canopy tour is and learned some of the specifics about Tree Frog, designed by Bonsai Design, before heading out to the Canopy grounds to get a view of the course trainers in action. Tree Frog Canopy Tours is a two and one-half hour tour consisting of seven zip lines, two rappels, one rock launch and two sky bridges.
A few small zipline destinations are scattered across Ohio, but Tree Frog is only the second of its kind in the state, according to Bruce Baker, co-owner of Tree Frog with Jody Christiansen. “Higher, longer and faster,” is how Baker describes Tree Frog in comparison to other zipline resorts.
About 40 employees will comprise the staff when they are fully up and running. Baker said he expects annual payroll to be about $550,000 with an estimated $2 million in revenue in a full operating year, which will run April 1 to Nov. 1. About 100 cars or more per day are expected on Wally Road, as he has already reported many corporate bookings and more than 30 telephone calls per day, before they even open operations.
Zipline assistants must go through a 60-hour training course and must pass a National Standard certification to be employed at Tree Frog.
“We want our No. 1 concern to be that we make sure everyone is safe,” said Baker. Some visitors have already commented by saying “It’s so safe out there.” Tree Frog has also taken every measure to protect the trees as much as possible, utilizing the latest technology in canopy tour construction.
“I think it’s great for Knox County,” said Bemiller. “We hope people start spending their money here and enjoy being outdoors in Knox County.”
“This should draw visitors far and wide,” said Stockberger. “We want there to be a focus on enticing and attracting more people from the Columbus area,” adding that there will be brochures available there from the Knox County Convention and Visitors Bureau to attract visitors to other area businesses.
For those wanting to schedule a Tree Frog Canopy Tour, participants must weigh between 90 and 250 pounds and be at least 10 years old. More information on the canopy tour can be found on the company’s website at www.treefrogcanopytours.com or by calling (740) 599-2662.
“People can come out here (Knox County) for camping and canoeing, and now they have this (canopy tour),” said commissioner Wise.
“It’s not just fun, but it’s educational as well, as you can learn about the trees and the area,” said Baker.