4Corners Riversports

Milt Wiley was a local paddling legend.

Even in the 1980s, when whitewater sports were still coming on the scene, everyone in Durango had heard of the Wiley’s.

In 1983, he and his daughters opened 4 Corners Riversports (4CRS).

Since that time, 4CRS has become Southwest Colorado’s iconic river supply store. With everything from stand up paddle boards (SUPs) to cookstoves to PFDs, the shop supplies river goers with everything they need for their outdoor adventures. They have gear for purchase or rent, and they host paddling classes for all ages and abilities.

In 2002, Milt’s daughter, Nancy, sold the shop to her brother in law, Andy Corra. Over the past 18 years, Tony Miely, Ashleigh Diaz, and Matt Gerhardt have also become managing partners. 

Each of these individuals has their own story of falling in love with whitewater. Andy started paddling on the Roaring Fork River in 1979 and has traveled from South America to Africa to paddle some of the world’s wildest rivers. Tony, who is originally from Chicago, started paddling while attending CSU. His love for rivers took him to Steamboat Springs where he worked at WaveSport Kayaks and back to Denver to manage Down River Equipment.

Ashleigh grew up in Vermont and moved to Durango in 2001, where she and a friend taught themselves to paddle by running the Animas River every day. Matt was born and raised in Durango and has a passion for multi-day trips. He is the shop photographer and loves snapping pictures of people enjoying the river.

All of these managers strive to provide excellent customer service and choice of product to the 4Corners area. The company has also worked hard to develop a great online presence.  

Running an outdoor adventure business in Southwest Colorado is no easy feat, and 4CRS has faced its share of challenges. They’ve had to navigate an array of natural hardships, including fires, droughts, and now COVID.

Ashleigh Diaz says, “Although COVID was scary in the beginning, it ended up being a super busy year with great sales.  People couldn’t go on their European vacations and stayed locally to play in the desert and mountains. The biggest struggle this year was actually getting product. Our manufactures were working on limited production schedules, had trouble getting materials, and ran into shipping delays.”

Despite these challenges, 4CRS works hard to be an active part of the community. They are the title sponsor for Animas River Days and regularly donate to local causes and events. They are also an active member of the Colorado Outdoor Business Alliance. All of the owners are passionate about sustainability. Their building is solar powered, and they try to purchase from companies who have a green impact (such as Patagonia, Ten Tree, Carve Designs, Kokatat, Astral, and Immersion Research).

Through the years, 4CRS has used SBDC for everything from social media help to understanding the Payment Protection Plan loans during the pandemic. Ashleigh encourages all business owners to seek them out. “SBDC is an amazing resource to have as a business owner, as well as, for anyone looking to start a business. They are all very knowledgeable and get you paired with the right people to go over all of the questions you may have during the process of opening a business. Also, for those who are already in business and looking to dial in a certain aspect, SBDC has someone who can help you. I have found everything so useful during my many meetings with their staff. I would highly recommend them.”

Even in the 1980s, when whitewater sports were still coming on the scene, everyone in Durango had heard of the Wiley’s.

In 1983, he and his daughters opened 4 Corners Riversports (4CRS).

Since that time, 4CRS has become Southwest Colorado’s iconic river supply store. With everything from stand up paddle boards (SUPs) to cookstoves to PFDs, the shop supplies river goers with everything they need for their outdoor adventures. They have gear for purchase or rent, and they host paddling classes for all ages and abilities.

In 2002, Milt’s daughter, Nancy, sold the shop to her brother in law, Andy Corra. Over the past 18 years, Tony Miely, Ashleigh Diaz, and Matt Gerhardt have also become managing partners. 

Each of these individuals has their own story of falling in love with whitewater. Andy started paddling on the Roaring Fork River in 1979 and has traveled from South America to Africa to paddle some of the world’s wildest rivers. Tony, who is originally from Chicago, started paddling while attending CSU. His love for rivers took him to Steamboat Springs where he worked at WaveSport Kayaks and back to Denver to manage Down River Equipment.

Ashleigh grew up in Vermont and moved to Durango in 2001, where she and a friend taught themselves to paddle by running the Animas River every day. Matt was born and raised in Durango and has a passion for multi-day trips. He is the shop photographer and loves snapping pictures of people enjoying the river.

All of these managers strive to provide excellent customer service and choice of product to the 4Corners area. The company has also worked hard to develop a great online presence.  

Running an outdoor adventure business in Southwest Colorado is no easy feat, and 4CRS has faced its share of challenges. They’ve had to navigate an array of natural hardships, including fires, droughts, and now COVID.

Ashleigh Diaz says, “Although COVID was scary in the beginning, it ended up being a super busy year with great sales.  People couldn’t go on their European vacations and stayed locally to play in the desert and mountains. The biggest struggle this year was actually getting product. Our manufactures were working on limited production schedules, had trouble getting materials, and ran into shipping delays.”

Despite these challenges, 4CRS works hard to be an active part of the community. They are the title sponsor for Animas River Days and regularly donate to local causes and events. They are also an active member of the Colorado Outdoor Business Alliance. All of the owners are passionate about sustainability. Their building is solar powered, and they try to purchase from companies who have a green impact (such as Patagonia, Ten Tree, Carve Designs, Kokatat, Astral, and Immersion Research).

Through the years, 4CRS has used SBDC for everything from social media help to understanding the Payment Protection Plan loans during the pandemic. Ashleigh encourages all business owners to seek them out. “SBDC is an amazing resource to have as a business owner, as well as, for anyone looking to start a business. They are all very knowledgeable and get you paired with the right people to go over all of the questions you may have during the process of opening a business. Also, for those who are already in business and looking to dial in a certain aspect, SBDC has someone who can help you. I have found everything so useful during my many meetings with their staff. I would highly recommend them.”

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