Dan Wright of Treehouse World and Treetop Builders goes out on a limb every day.
When we talked last year around this time last year, you were just getting started with Treehouse World. How is it going? It’s always going to be a work in progress. It’s something that we’re building from scratch, and plan to always improve upon. For instance, right now we’re building a labyrinth in the woods. And next weekend, we begin construction on our pirate ship treehouse.
What do you already have set up for visitors to enjoy? We’ve got multiple treehouses, you can climb up giant trees with a safety harness, a trampoline bounce, and even archery tag, which is like paintball for archery.
What kind of visitors do you get? Is it more groups, or mostly families with kids? We do have groups—we have 80 Boy Scouts coming this Saturday. But most of our business thus far has actually been birthday parties. It’s really a great place for a birthday party
Are you focused more on this full time, or do you find yourself dividing time between both businesses? That’s a good question. I’m definitely still involved in both, but most of the hands-on construction I’m doing these days is at Treehouse World. And of course, the more you build, the more you have to maintain. We’ll never run out of work here. We’ve got 14 acres of mostly wooded land to expand into.
Do you have a specific vision for this property? My vision for this project includes around 40 treehouses, and about 10 to 15 amusement rides or attractions.
How many employees do you have? In total, we’ve got 10 full-time and 10 part-time employees.
What constitutes a good day at work for you? As a builder, it always boils down to just getting a lot done. In other words, accomplishing difficult tasks, efficiently and preferably amazingly. But a good day at Treehouse World is when lots of people visit and those people simply have a great experience.
You have kids of your own, right? Three boys, ages five, eight and eleven.
And do your kids think that you have the best job in the whole entire world? Yes, I think they do. Although, I think they also wish I was less busy.
Are you working seven days a week? Pretty much. It’s really, really rare for me to take a day off. If we’re playing games or going somewhere as a family, that’s one thing. But I can’t just sit around—I’m just not that kind of guy. I go nuts, I can’t sit around the house all day.
So we’re not going to find you sitting in your recliner with the remote in your hand any time soon is what you’re saying? You might find me in a recliner, but not with a remote. If I’m sitting in a recliner, I’m likely asleep. When I slow down or stop moving, I’m out.
Photo: Andrew Hutchins, Interview: Kate Chadwick