(Photo provided by Patric Douglas, CEO of Big Mountain Heli Tours)
Big Mountain Heli Tours world-class scenic helicopter tours have tourists and locals thrilled with the unprecedented Cascade Mountain views and unprecedented trips to destinations throughout Central Oregon. As of mid-November the company was already 35% over their initial tourism forecast for 2017 and have plans for continued growth and expansion in 2018.
“We’re working on a number of strategic partnerships with leading tour providers and resorts in Central Oregon to help manage sustainable tourism growth past 2018. Helicopter tourism and event services has a sustainable growth curve and we want to manage that as carefully as possible,” said Patric Douglas, CEO of Big Mountain Heli Tours.
Douglas is a 30 year veteran tourism developer and self-described ‘chronic adventure seeker’ currently residing in Bend. He opened Big Mountain Heli Tours in October 2016 and after a successful summer is looking to create sustainability by offering unique tours that take guests to far-away places seldom visited.
“Before we opened our doors we looked at the tourism metrics for our region and found that, of the roughly 3.1 million visitors a year, close to 70% are return visitors and yet less than 1% have ever seen the Cascade Range or Bend from the air. Those are exciting tourism numbers to start a company with,” Douglas said.
Big Mountain Heli Tours partners with Leading Edge Aviation to staff highly experienced commercial pilots and mechanics who have a passion for aviation. Leading Edge Aviation has the pilots and ground staff to offer flexibility and local support to make the tours happen.
With stewardship for the land they explore at the forefront, Big Mountain Heli Tours donates flights to help the Deschutes National Forest with everything from wildfire fighting helicopters, equipment and staff rides into remote locations. The company matches each nominal $5 helicopter flight fee from their customers which goes to nongovernmental organizations that help keep Central Oregon beautiful.
Tours offer a variety of possibilities including the hour long Winter Wonderland Helicopter Snow Tour. The trip takes guests in and out of backcountry canyons and over the snow-capped Cascades before returning for scenic views over Bend. Another winter option is the Holiday Lights Helicopter tour which takes guests at an altitude between 2,000 and 2,500 feet to see Bend’s holiday lights from the sky.
No matter what adventure a guest is looking for, Big Mountain Heli Tours has a flight package that is suitable including trips to Smith Rock and nearly everywhere else in Central Oregon. Tour possibilities are endless and new tours are constantly being added.
“We always looking for new tours and activities in the region. There are a lot of exciting destinations and locations that no one has ever heard about in Central Oregon that are too far to travel by road, but close enough to reach by helicopter. For example, we discovered a private cave system in Burns with a lake inside it you can kayak in and a private ranch with a gold mine on it from the late 1800’s,” Douglas said.
Tours offer flexibility, safety and comfort with an expansive fleet of aircraft. They offer several different types of helicopters and fixed wing aircraft.
With a highly successful 2017 nearly in the books, Big Mountain Heli Tours is posed for continued growth and sustainability with year-round trips that take guests to the far-reaches of Central Oregon.
Big Mountain Heli Tours
Main Office: 550 SW Industrial Way #223, Bend, OR 97702
Helipad: 63048 Powell Butte Rd, Bend, OR 97701
CEO: Patric Douglas
No. Employees: Partnership with Leading Edge Aviation.
Year Established: October 2016
Product/Service: Helicopter tours throughout Central Oregon.
Hot News: After exceeding 2017’s forecasts, Big Mountain Heli Tours plans for growth and expansion in 2018.