Fish New England Blog

Blazing New Trails in the Outdoor Industry: Q&A with GuideHire

[fa icon="calendar"] Jan 25, 2016 8:32:30 PM / by Jon Grimm

Jon Grimm

Fish New England Sits Down with James Hamilton, founder of GuideHire

This week, Fish New England had the pleasure of speaking with James Hamilton of GuideHire about his company and his experiences with and perspectives on the outdoor industry. James is a passionate outdoorsman with an entrepreneurial spirit and a passion for getting others involved in the many outdoor opportunities that New England offers. James founded GuideHire in 2014 to help people interested in guided outdoor experiences to connect with outdoor experts in a variety of different areas ranging from charter fishing to skiing to hunting. James has been blazing new trails in the outdoor industry ever since launching GuideHire, and had some perspectives to share on the state of the business today and where he sees it heading in the future.


blazing new trails in the outdoor industry


How did the idea for GuideHire come about?

The idea for GuideHire sprung from a deep connection with and love for the outdoors. I definitely have to thank my parents and grandparents for helping to instill that passion in me. The "a-ha!" moment happened while I was sitting at my desk in Denver, trying to book a fly fishing guide to show me around the different fisheries in the Front Range. It wasn't that there was a lack of options - there are tons of fly shops in and around Denver. It's that there was no way for me to judge the quality of the guides & get a feel for what the experience would be like. There also wasn't an easy way for me to book the trip without making a blatantly non-work call at the office, which I wasn't stoked about. So, I got to thinking...the modern consumer uses marketplaces for just about every major purchase, why not outdoor guides & instructors? The price-tag is often comparable to a flight, and the experience is extremely personal. 

What types of experiences can people book through GH?

You can book just about anything on GH. From ice-climbing to surf lessons, fly fishing to waterfowl hunting, and everything in between.
How has the guide business evolved with the digital age?
The guiding industry is a bit behind in terms of tech adoption. When the full transition has been made, platforms like GuideHire will be at the forefront of the industry (I think this shift will come when younger consumers start booking more trips). But GH and other marketplaces aside, I think that social media has done a lot for guides.
blazing new trails in the outdoor industry
What are the biggest challenges for guides today and how does GH help solve them?
The biggest challenges facing guides today are two-fold. The first challenge is reaching new clients. Word of mouth is a great tool, but the pool of prospective clients is so big that there has to be another inexpensive way to get a larger reach - that's where GuideHire comes in. The second major challenge facing the guiding industry is climate change and disregard for our precious natural resources, at GuideHire our goal is to turn every one of our clients into a true conservationist. People who enjoy our eco-systems first hand are often times the biggest advocates for their protection.
What are your favorite outdoor experiences in New England?
My favorite outdoor experiences in New England would have to be backcountry skiing in the White Mountains of NH, trout fishing in the Berkshires, chasing striped bass on a fly rod (either from shore or from a boat), and stand up paddle-boarding around the vast estuaries we have here in New England (mine being the Great Salt Marsh & Essex River).
blazing new trails in the outdoor industry

Fish New England would like to thank James Hamilton for taking the time to sit down with us and for supporting our efforts in the fishing community. Keep GuideHire top of mind for the next time you're looking to book a guided outdoor adventure - they have something for everyone! We'll look forward to keeping an eye on GuideHire and James as they continue blazing new trails in the outdoor industry!


Click here to learn  more about GuideHire!

Jon Grimm

Written by Jon Grimm

Founder of Fish New England. Avid outdoorsman, obsessed fisherman.