Established in 1972; 2000 Dollars, a Garage, and a Dream
In the early 70's Bill Parks had two passions: paddling and business. So with $2000 in savings, he started NRS (Northwest River Supplies). As well as an opportunity to provide fellow enthusiasts with products, this gave him the chance to prove his teaching wasn't just talk. To learn more about Bill Park's story read on...
I first fell in love with whitewater in the 1960's. As a business teacher, it was a natural step to combine my passion for paddling with my "day job": I could test some of my ideas about small business in the real world and go boating at the same time. In 1972, while on the faculty of the University of Oregon, I started NRS with an initial $2000 investment. Thanks to lots of luck and some hard work, NRS (which soon relocated to Moscow, Idaho) grew into a thriving business.
Today, we are still putting into practice my original, perhaps somewhat naive, belief that a business enterprise can provide purpose and enjoyment in our lives, rather than just a way of making money. At NRS, our purpose is to treat you, the customer, in the way we like to be treated. In many ways the company feels to us like a family, and we hope that you, too, get a bit of this feeling when doing business with us.
I've always been a budget boater, and NRS was founded to provide quality equipment without wiping out the wallet. We haven't lost that edge, although some people sometimes ask why we don't charge more for our products. The answer is simple: we didn't get into this business to get rich or to satisfy investors -- we're here because we love running rivers. You'll find our best efforts in your local paddling shop as well as on this website.