Hatch RIver Expeditions

Desert Magazine Ad from 1961

Imagine skimming through the monthly magazine subscription that just came in the mail, and bam, an ad for a river trip sparks interest. Before the days of this instant gratification tool we call the internet, people went about booking their vacations in a very different way. A simple ad with a brief description provided the sparking point for guests to plan exciting rafting vacations out west with Hatch River Expeditions.

Travel back in time and analyze the time period in question, anything before the 1980s would work. Advertising took a much different form and print was king. Think brochures, pamphlets and ads in magazines. Television would have been a bit too pricey at the time. Publicity and name recognition helped, obviously. Hatch River Expeditions had been in the news for environmental reasons and sponsoring trips with the Sierra Club. More than a few famed celebrities and politicians traveled down river as well. When Bobby Kennedy and John Glenn took a trip it was sure to make the news.

Hatch River

Desert Magazine Ad 1965

While skimming through publications like Desert or Sunset Magazine and reading about all things to do in the Western United States, it must have been easy to dream and pursue exotic destinations like rafting in the Grand Canyon. Articles about native cultures and southwestern communities fill the pages and detail these western states. Many a non-native to the southwest has and probably still does dream of an adventure out west with the people and landscape providing a backdrop.

Imagine stumbling upon a very simple ad. No pictures or descriptive text necessary. Whether it be "White Water Canyon Adventure with Hatch" or "Grand Canyon River Trips – Operators of ALL Wild Rivers in the West – 30 Years Experience". That was enough for guests to either book or request additional information. Guests had to write in to or call the old offices located in Utah and Hatch staff would send out brochures to anyone with interest.

A guest recently wrote an email about taking a trip next year. He remembered from years past seeing Hatch’s advertisement gracing the pages of magazines. It got us snooping back in time to see what these ads looked like. Low and behold they can be found in Desert Magazine’s archives. Simple, to the point and placed strategically with adventure like stories throughout the text. Name recognition really does exist and after over 80 years of experience, Hatch River Expeditions likely knows that better than anyone.

Hatch Expeditions

Desert Magazine Ad 1963

With all the history that comes with the Hatch River Expeditions name it can be fun to see how it was done decades ago. Seeing the price of $295 for a nine day trip sure brings a smile to our face. Don’t forget that with inflation and cost of living, the National Park Service sets the rates for this concessionaire. Things were different in the sixties and rules and regulations have come quite a long way since then. Still, it is nice to read about little histories such as this and be thankful to the guest who reminded us of this.

Hatch River Expeditions Ads from the Good Ol’ Days was last modified: February 13th, 2015 by Katy Nelson

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