Entrepreneur Spotlight: Randy Kraft

2 mins read

Did You Know?
Scuba One Travel is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, as it was founded in 1982.

How can YOU help?
“Think of Scuba One when considering your next tropical vacation! ” – Randy Kraft

Did You Know?
SCUBA is an acronym! Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus

Randy Kraft – CEO & Manager, Scuba One Travel

There are few companies with a business model as unique as Scuba One Travel. Located in Bismarck, ND, Scuba One is a tropical vacation travel agency for all travelers. Furthermore, they also teach scuba diving courses and sell scuba gear. While this concept may be rare in rural North Dakota, Randy Kraft, founder of the operation, has found success in his passion for over 40 years. While Kraft is looking forward to continuing expanding his travel agency business, he’s already developed a one-of-a-kind experience and background over the years like no other.

What was your journey like for you to get to the position you’re at today?

As with most entrepreneurs, there were many ebbs and flows along the way. I was first introduced to diving through a scuba class while attending college at Moorhead State University. After I completed a 10- week instructor program at the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) in California. In 1984, I was hired as the watersports director for a resort in Jamaica, then I was promoted to the director of scuba diving for a Jamaican company. I never had the intention to make Jamaica my home, which led me back to the Bismarck-Mandan area to open Scuba One. Having hands-on experience from my time in Jamaica, I’m able to not only sell scuba gear and train divers but also run the travel agency side of the business since the 1980s

Which parts of taking this risk will stick with you forever?

I think the part that I’ll never forget was trying to always stay one step ahead of the bills. At times, money was tight and we always tried to stay ahead of them before it was too late.

What steps were the hardest when taking the leap to start Scuba One Travel?

The hardest step, or pill to swallow, was that I would be giving up a stable income in trade for doing something that I’m truly passionate about.

What advice do you have for readers considering taking this leap?

Everything depends on your business model. In my case, I chose to always live below my means and never took out a loan, as I never knew when I was going to get paid.

What was a typical day in your life like when you were beginning Scuba One Travel?

It wasn’t too different compared to what it’s like today. The only difference is that I have a much stronger background from working continually in the ever-changing travel industry

What made you decide that the Bis-Man area would be a great place to start a business?

I was born and raised here, so it would be pretty hard to leave for good. I’ve known the area my whole life, and I knew that it would be difficult to move the company once it was established here.

What would you have done differently if you could go back and start again, knowing what you know now?

I would have made more long-term capital improvements, as I never thought I would be doing it for 40 years.

What is something you wish more people knew about Scuba One Travel?

I worked in Jamaica and then moved back home to Bismarck, then spent approximately 30 years as a consultant to a Jamaica-based resort chain, from my Mandan office, with properties throughout the Caribbean. While I worked with watersports, the resorts were not “scuba diving” resorts, so I have insight into Caribbean properties and locations that no other travel agent I am aware of anywhere, would have. The resorts were popular wedding/honeymoon properties, so I have been directly involved in countless honeymoons and destination weddings. I can’t think of a situation where any travel agent/advisor anywhere, would have a stronger background or direct first-hand experience in this field.

(701) 527-9690
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