If you enjoyed playing pirate and searching for lost treasure when you were a child, you will love “Adventure Hunt!” A grownup version of that childhood game, this time there is real treasure at the end of the rainbow.
Sean Bingham and his brothers, Justin and Jared, had launched KZ Gear in 2013, offering unique but affordable sunglasses and other gear designed for the adventurous, active lifestyle the brothers enjoyed.
In 2015, Sean and his brothers created an adventure hunt as a marketing event for KZ. In an interview with Ryan James of Startup Savant, Sean recalled the first event. “I flew around the country and literally buried treasure chests in 10 cities throughout the US.” Offering a trip to Hawaii as the grand prize for one of the winning teams, “The response was incredible. People loved it. We loved it. And KZ sales tripled immediately.”
It didn’t take long for them to realize that the event itself was their most successful enterprise. They launched a separate company named “Adventure Hunt” with KZ as the lead sponsor, built a website and gained sponsors such as Red Frog Beach Resort in Bocas del Toro, Panama. They distributed surveys from the first round of events to improve the experience and branched out to 15 more cities to establish hunts. Being savvy in the use of social media, by 2017, they buried 48 treasure chests and in 2018 the total increased to 70. Each chest is packed with $7,500 worth of adventure gear and luxurious trips from sponsors. The hunt is done with teams of two people, who download the app to get assignments that will earn them enough points to unlock the treasure map.
In an April 6, 2017 article “BYU Alumnus Brings the Adventure Hunt to Provo,” Sean told Taylor Zundel “Half of the items are fun and funny like proposing to a stranger, or doing a belly flop or having a stranger feed you grapes. The other half are adventurous. Rock climbing, repelling, long boarding, hikes, paddle boarding and different activities like that.”
The teams post proof of their adventures on Instagram. After earning 20 points they are able to unlock the treasure map that gives them clues and riddles to solve in order to locate the hidden treasure. They app provides the teams with notifications when they get within 2,500 feet, 750 feet, and when they reach each stop. Hints are available for purchase if a team gets hopelessly stumped, but according to Sean, “Hints aren’t required. Most Champs never used one.”
The Adventure Hunt website is loaded with tips for success, lists of important gear and supplies to bring along on the hunt and videos and interviews from previous participants providing valuable information for a successful hunt. Prizes also include discounts on trips and a grand prize that includes a free trip to the Red Frog Beach Resort in Bocas del Toro, Panama.