Not all travel agencies are created equal, according to Mike Cameron, co-owner and President of Christopherson Business Travel. Since the company was purchased in 1990, Cameron and his wife have grown the company from a staff of 10 to over 225 with the help of a SBA-backed working capital loan for $20,000.
Christopherson Business Travel focuses on business travel management with 35 offices throughout the Rocky Mountain Region. When the Camerons purchased the company in 1990, annual revenues were barely $1 million. Despite a 20-year period that has included intense internet competition, airlines eliminating travel agency commissions, and a prolonged economic recession, the company achieved record revenues in 2010 of more than $240 million. Cameron has hired more than 100 employees over the past five years alone.
An important strategic move occurred in 1998, when Christopherson opened its first ‘client-dedicated on-site office’ located in a client’s building. Staffed with travel agents, computers and ticket printers, the strategy proved successful and has led to more than 20 on-site offices for corporate clients of all types.
By 2000, Christopherson Business Travel needed more office space. Cameron used a $5 million SBA-guaranteed loan in 2001 to construct a 42,000 square foot building that consolidated 4 offices and provided room for future growth. Today, Christopherson Business Travel provides travel management services to over 800 successful companies.