Two million people visit Lake Powell every year. Many of them take a 6-hour boat tour through miles of unparalleled slot canyons. But the locals will tell you that the best way to see Lake Powell is on something much smaller—a paddleboard.
The locals will then tell you to go see Jordan and Joe Lapekas, owners of Lake Powell Paddleboards. In 2012, Jordan and Joe loaded up their paddleboards and set off on a journey to paddle in all 50 states. After 120,000 miles of travel, they met their goal.
With their knowledge of the sport, Jordan and Joe started Lake Powell Paddleboards in 2013. Due to the seasonal nature of the business, gaining momentum early on wasn’t easy. At the end of that first season, they nearly threw in the towel.
“We actually closed up and put all our stuff in storage, and we weren’t sure if we were going to come back for the next year.”
All things considered, Jordan and Joe decided to give it another shot. They managed to increase sales 50% from the year before. Things were looking up.
In 2015, Jordan and Joe bought some property and started building their shop out of recycled shipping containers. They hauled each of the five containers 550 miles from Long Beach, CA to the shores of Lake Powell. They posted a video of the building process which now has over a million views on YouTube.
For the next couple of years, the paddleboard shop grew steadily. Jordan noticed that most of their customers were coming from TripAdvisor and Google. She realized that more reviews would mean more revenue. Unfortunately, they had less than 100 reviews on TripAdvisor, and only 11 Google reviews.
While at a conference in Las Vegas, Jordan and Joe ran into some Podium reps. “They started telling me about Podium—and they were kind of thinking for our graphics business—but in my mind, I was thinking about the paddleboard business,” Jordan told us. She decided right then and there to try Podium.
Rising to the top of Google & TripAdvisor.
Since discovering Podium, Lake Powell Paddleboards has gone from less than 100 reviews on TripAdvisor to nearly 300. What’s more, they’ve gone from 11 Google reviews to nearly 400—all with an average rating of 4.9 stars. Travelers from 100 countries and all 50 U.S. states visited the shop to rent paddleboards and kayaks this year alone.
“This year we’re up about 170% from last year. It’s crazy.”
Discovering new revenue streams.
In addition to dominating TripAdvisor and Google, Jordan and Joe have gotten better at hearing their customers. They added a retail store to their shop where they sell souvenirs and apparel. They added kayaks and bikes to their rental options. And they’re now working on gearing customers up for trips down the Colorado River.
“I attribute a lot of that to the reviews we get through Podium because so many people look at that, and it also helps us market and rank higher,” Jordan told us. “Anybody in the sporting or outdoor worlds could for sure benefit from using Podium.”