By Connor Dziawura
Maintaining an active, outgoing lifestyle is a part of any healthy person’s life. So, when 25 Valley residents participated in a full moon kayak tour at Canyon Lake this past summer, it provided them the opportunity to go out, meet new people and have a good time. The trip, topped with dinner at a local cantina and a fire pit with s’mores in the water, was made possible by Adventures 2000.
Adventures 2000, a long-running members-only club that was created 17 years ago, plans to step it up with a seven-night getaway to Costa Rica from May 27 through June 3, 2018. With sightseeing opportunities like hot springs, white water rafting, a gondola ride, zip lining, hiking, snorkeling and a catamaran tour with lunch and cocktails, members are sure to have a busy week. These events barely scratch the surface of what Adventures 2000 offers.
The bucket list club, which boasts nearly 200 members, annually books hundreds of events, which range from wine tasting to concerts, and hikes to cruises. While it was primarily known as a singles club when it was founded at the turn of the century, Adventures 2000 has evolved as new members joined for a variety of different reasons.
“When I first bought it and I started going out and meeting all the members at the different events, they all had different reasons, and it was just interesting to me,” says Candice Rice, who bought the company in January 2017. “Some people do want to meet people. A lot of people are new to town, and it’s a good way to explore the town and meet people. Everybody’s different.”
These reasons range from the aforementioned members who are new to town to some of whom work from home seeking a social life and retirees looking for fun activities where they can meet people.
Rice estimates the 40s through 50s comprises most members, although they have ranged from as young as 21 to older than 70.
“It’s super eclectic, so they’re going to meet an amazing pool of people to get to know and become friends with,” she says.
Some members have even gone on to further their involvement in the club, eventually becoming activity coordinators–members who help to arrange and lead the events.
Tod Emig, who joined approximately two years ago, is one of the club’s many activity coordinators. He joined the club after moving from Flagstaff to Phoenix.
“For me, this was kind of my break into Phoenix to learn different stuff to do and meet a bunch of new people and make some great friends through this,” Emig says.
He notes that some of his favorite events are the athletic activities like golf and bowling, although he likes to be adventurous. He even serves as activity coordinator for some of the events he would normally attend anyway.
“I’m a little bit of a thrill seeker,” he says. “One of the ones I just had was hang gliding. I also did white water river rafting. I like to just really get out there and do exciting things.”
Audrey Thompson, a member of around nine years, notes hiking, music and theater events as some of her favorites.
She also, however, made her first trip abroad to Europe with the club. She even went on two trips to Hawaii with the club, one of which was her first time.
“I discovered that I love to travel,” Thompson says.
Thompson was also an activity coordinator for five years; however, she has since left the position to allow others to have an opportunity. She now estimates she attends four to six events per month, or at least once a week.
“It kind of depends on what’s going on in my life, but I’m trying to maintain the momentum lately and get out because there are new people but there are some of the same people I’ve known for years,” Thompson says. “That makes it fun.”
Emig, on the other hand, estimates he attends 10 to 14 events per month.
Originally intended as a singles club, Rice now emphasizes that members should not join Adventures 2000 with the expectations of a matchmaking club.
Since taking ownership, Rice has discontinued the club’s monthly membership package. Finding that it was difficult for new members to commit under such brief packages, Rice wants to allow folks to fully get involved in their efforts to be active and meet new people.
“One of the things I’ve learned is it’s what you make it,” she says.
The club operates “individual” and “buddy” packages, both of which include 90-day, semi-annual and annual options. Individual member prices range from $90 to $360. Buddy packages feature extra savings and range from $135 to $540.
Looking forward, Rice is hoping to continue to grow the organization’s membership, as well as to partner with businesses to create fun, new, exciting events.
Rice says her time with the organization has been fun, adding, “I’m excited to see where it does go.”