It has been quite a ride for Ropes Courses Incorporated these past 30 years in business. From humble beginnings constructing tree-to-tree ropes courses in the 1980s to the now jaw-dropping steel structures in countries around the world, we’ve just gotten bigger and better!
President and Founder, Jim Liggett started it all when in 1983 he built his very first ropes course using a collection of trees and a few lines while working at a YMCA camp in Flint, Michigan. Loving the experience that comes with constructing a ropes course, Liggett decided to make a business out of it and founded RCI 6 years later in 1989. With limited staff, courses were not produced in the same capacity for clients as they are now and only about 2-3 courses were built each year.
Though there weren’t many constructed for a few years, the projects taken on and courses produced were largely led by Liggett himself. The attention to detail and careful craftsmanship of each course allowed Liggett to form valuable relationships with others in a still up and coming industry. One of those early bonds was with Canadian-based company, Challenges Unlimited (CUI). Founders Andrew Hubert and Sarah Oosterhuis collaborated with Jim and his wife, Michelle Liggett in 1994 on an early aerial course and now are working towards becoming a licensed distributor of RCI products.
It wasn’t until the year 2000 that the traditional tree-to-tree courses Liggett had been crafting since the beginning started to become swapped out for free standing structures that consisted of frames made of steel. The stronger materials gave the attractions added durability and allowed them to last longer as they were easier to take care of. It was this switch that made the minimal maintenance and overall longevity of RCI’s attractions today possible.
Further evolving, in 2017 RCI expanded beyond just Sky Trail® and Sky Tykes® and acquired Colorado-based company, Amaze’n Mazes™. The next year more change for the company came from being named the North & South American distributor and manufacturer of Clip ‘n Climb® climbing wall.
Today, approximately 384 Sky Trail® and 79 Sky Tykes® aerial attractions have been installed in 40 states and 33 different countries. It has without a doubt been a forged path and a journey that required a lot of hard work. We’re proud of where we started back in 1989 and honestly can’t wait to see where we’ll go next. Here’s to 30 years!