Imagine waiting with a group of your closest friends or family as snow begins to fall and a crew fires up an aircraft to guide you on a skiing/riding experience you will never forget!
The adventure starts with a scenic 40-minute flight from Aspen to Telluride and continues with six runs of guided heli-skiing! With lunch, snacks, drinks, sunscreen, and even an avalanche airbag pack provided, so you can completely immerse yourself in the experience knowing every detail has been taken care of beforehand. All this and more is possible with custom, group travel experiences from Aspen-based Nomad Inc.
I sat down with Frank Scotti, founder, to learn more about his adventurous philosophy, Nomad Inc’s founding, and how the company is moving forward following the 2020 pandemic.
Aryonna Richard: First off, I love the name Nomad Inc. I’m always curious about the meaning behind a company’s name. What sparked the idea for yours?
Frank Scotti: “I always liked the word nomad. In my younger years, pre-kids and wife, I had several people call me a nomad, almost with a negative connotation. This resulted from a life based on chasing snow, swell, flow state euphoria, beautiful places, risk, etc…, which I loved. I did not buy into the “normal” existence most people follow, which looked really boring and uncomfortable. I came up with Nomad Inc because I thought it was kinda funny. It’s a play on words. Like a group of Nomads would never be incorporated.”
Aryonna: I’ve been reading about your team at Nomad Inc. It appears all of you have a life-long passion for adventure and travel. When did this passion start to manifest as a business idea?
Frank: “During a NOLS trip in Patagonia at the age of 21, I learned about a Wilderness Leadership program at Prescott College. Not soon after, I was enrolled and on my way. The problem was, I couldn’t make enough money working as a seasonal guide for the lifestyle I wanted. I went back into construction, worked my way into supervisor roles, bought a house, worked WAY too many hours, and found myself unhappy and burnt out. It was time for a change. I quit my job at a design-build firm here in Aspen, drove back to Long Island, NY to spend some time with my folks, and take the time to build the first website Nomad Inc had. I also met my wife during this period while sleeping in the back of my truck, bumming around Montauk, NY. Truly one of the happiest times of my life. Less is more, and I’m so glad I had this time with my dad before his passing.”
Aryonna: What were the early stages of Nomad Inc like? Do you remember any defining moment or event that lead to the creation of your company?
Frank: “The start of Nomad was a labor of love and continues to be. This has been an entirely self-funded venture, and I am constantly learning and revising the plan. Our first client was a gentleman from Denver that spent a week with me. We snowmobiled, split boarded, got him an Avy 1 certification, and went heli-skiing. I had a moment while in the helicopter. It was late in the afternoon; the sun was low, the light was magical. My wife Kelly was pregnant with our first daughter, and I was getting paid to show people a great time. A life I had dreamed of for many years that was now real.”
Aryonna: Do you have any tips or advice for fellow entrepreneurs regarding how to turn a passion into a tangible business idea?
Frank: “My point is, life is short. Don’t waste time. Don’t wait till you’re ready. Don’t make decisions based on what you think others will think or say about you. That stuff is complete bullshit. Don’t set yourself up to one day look back on your life with regrets about all the things you were too scared to try. Don’t worry about gaps in your resume, more bullshit. Don’t wake up one day with the realization you wasted your prime years grinding away chasing someone else’s dream for you. You never fail; you only succeed or learn. It’s a constant ongoing learning process. Build your own dream, or someone will do their best to pay you as little as possible to build theirs.”
Aryonna: What would you say makes Nomad Inc. different from other adventure/travel companies?
Frank: “We have a different approach to Adventure Travel. Most of our “competition” sells set packages that the client can choose from when booking service. This doesn’t work. Why? Because everyone is different. We get to know our clients a bit, discuss activities, ideas, locations, get a feel of WHO they are, and then build an authentic experience specifically for them. Some clients want us to put the trip together; others want us to accompany them along the way. We offer this white-glove service worldwide.”
Aryonna: What are some of the main reasons clients choose Nomad?
Frank: “Word of mouth from friends/family. They know we prioritize client experience above all. They don’t have the time or want to organize the experience themselves. They realize that having an expert is better than winging it themselves. They recognize that they can’t match our expertise and our constant search for the best, unique experiences and locations.”
Aryonna: The 2020 pandemic hit companies in the travel industry particularly hard; what tactics did Nomad Inc use to survive during this period?
Frank: “When the pandemic hit, we were heli-skiing in the San Juans of Colorado. The next day the governor shut everything down, and I thought that was the end of Nomad. At least for a while. A few months later, we had our busiest summer ever. International travel was dead, but our local business was at an all-time high. We had families who moved to Aspen due to the pandemic and wanted to see the best of what Colorado had to offer. We had one family for a month, and every day included adventure.”
Aryonna: How has your company changed since the 2020 pandemic? What safety procedures do you have in place?
Frank: “We have focused our efforts more on domestic experiences, specifically here in Colorado. That being said, we can’t wait to get back to international travel. Looking forward to borders opening and people being more comfortable getting back on international flights. We are hoping to get to Japan this January with our Japow group.”
Aryonna: Do you offer packages and custom travel experiences?
Frank: “Most of our experiences are entirely custom. We offer 4-6 group/retreat style trips each year, including a surf & wellness trip in El Salvador, a snowboarding trip in Japan, a wellness week in Croatia, and a moto experience in Costa Rica, to name a few!”
Aryonna: What is Nomad Inc. looking forward to the most now that travel has, for the most part, resumed and customers are looking for new experiences again?
Frank: “We can’t wait to see all our repeat clients, catch up, and share what we love with new friends.”
Aryonna: What is the easiest way for an interested customer to reach you?
Frank: “Best to reach out by email. Please hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org”
Are you more of a warm-weather adventurer, or maybe you’re looking for an unforgettable international excursion? As mentioned in the interview Nomad Inc can create inspired travel plans almost anywhere for almost any group. From custom domestic to international experiences, group trips, shuttle services, and more let Nomad Inc take your vision to the next level by creating memories you only thought possible before traveling with them.