WEST LIBERTY – After eight years in business with more than 25,000 visitors from more than 50 countries and almost every state in the nation, Markin Farms Zipline Adventures is closing.
“It’s been amazing to work with our children, grandson and parents who have all had a part in the success of Markin Farms,” Terry Markin said. “We thank God for his hand of protection and favor over our successful business.”
As the Markin children have all left home to open their own companies or attend college, the Markin family announced the closing of the zip line business. The last day to the public will be Oct. 31.
“Closing of the zip line business is bittersweet,” Terry said. “2019 is shaping up to be one of our busiest years to date, however, we are poised to focus on the next exciting phase of our business. Our employees have been one of the biggest reasons for the success of our business. Our goal has always been ‘to provide great customer service to our guests.’ I feel we have been able to achieve our goal by the countless positive reviews and the number of returning guests we serve annually. This adventure has far exceeded our wildest expectations, and we will forever remember the great people we have been able to meet and the joy of being a small part of providing so many a once in a lifetime experience.
“We would to thank the community, tourism board of Logan County, our employees and, of course, all the many people that have graced our presence with their time. Markin Farms Zipline Adventures taught our children about business, customer service, having a strong work ethic, making sincere relationships and to take risks. Julie and I can’t stress enough the importance of listening to your children and their dreams. You never know when their ideas will turn into a major business opportunity.”
The Markin family – Terry and Julie along with children Seth, Casey, Brooke and Neil – began exploring the idea of building a full-blown zip line course in the fall of 2011 after Neil, age 11 at the time, and Brooke, then 13, went on a vacation with their grandparents and experienced their first zip line expedition.
After returning home, the two youngest Markin siblings were so excited about their adventure that they convinced their father to construct a full zip line course on their 90 acre farm near West Liberty in Logan County.
With Terry having more than 25 years of experience in the construction business and a reputation for having an entrepreneurial spirit, he consulted with a zip line builder/designer. Construction and planning took six months to complete before the Markins opened Markin Farms Zipline Adventures to the general public with 12 zip lines and five high rope challenge areas.
The success of the new venture exploded, and they quickly hosted thrill-seeking entertainment for people of all ages. The oldest participant was 91 years old.
Terry said in May 2012, after son Seth, now CEO and owner of Champaign County Telephone Sales and Service, launched the Markin Farms Zipline Adventures website, the family received their first interested caller. Terry said he vividly remembers taking the call and pretending to check to see if they had availability to accommodate a family wanting to “zip” over spring break. Chuckling about it now, Terry got back to the caller and reported that they, indeed, were able to book the course for this family.
“Of course, there was no one on the schedule because this family would be their very first visitors,” he said.
The Markins were not new to the business world. The 25 years prior to opening Markin Farms Zipline Adventures, they were involved in custom home building, land development, property management and even owned and operated their own restaurant in the Bellefontaine area.
“But, as every good business owner knows, you always want to end an era on a high note,” Terry said.
Markin Farms will continue with its wedding venue, event center and Airbnb rentals, offering full wedding planning options. Individuals can visit markinfarms.com for a full description of everything Markin Farms has to offer. Individuals also may visit @markinfarm on Facebook and @markinfarms on Instagram. For a private tour of the wedding venues, call 937-465-0358.