There’s no time to expand like the worst recession in decades. That’s the motto of Sutton Bacon, the 29-year-old CEO of the Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC). The employee-owned company, best known as the operator of one of the country’s foremost whitewater paddling schools and commercial rafting outfits, is forging ahead with a major retail expansion.
"A downturn is a terrible thing to waste," said Bacon. "If ever there is a more import time to push forward with product development, this is it. We are creating more, new relevant experiences and are expecting revenue this year to increase 20 percent in the face of everyone cutting costs and marketing."
Bacon is so confident of NOC’s growth prospects that he testified about them May 20 to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Small Business.