Q&A With Mike Culver of Marathon Helicopters
It’s often said that people make the place, and we couldn’t agree more. Our new spotlight series introduces you to Seward Chamber of Commerce members who make our community an incredible place to live, work and play.
Pilot and owner Mike Culver at Marathon Helicopters specializes in flight-seeing tours, utility flying, and helicopter services for a number of other companies in Seward. From exploring mountain tops to extended tours of the Kenai Peninsula, Mike brings passengers close to wildlife and offers glacier views from unique angles. He also provides helicopter assistance to many locals that require supply drops at extremely remote sites.
We recently sat down with Mike to learn more about the journey he has taken as a small business owner in Seward.
How long have you lived in Seward? What first brought you here?
Originally, I worked for a different helicopter company based in Wasilla. They assigned me to Seward for the three years that I worked for them. After my contract was over, I didn’t want to leave so I started Marathon Helicopters in 2016. We’re now starting our third season.
What makes your business special or unique? In other words, what are you known for?
The group of folks I have working with me are the best. Seriously, the best. We all love where we work and what we do. We provide fun and exciting tours for visitors and a very helpful service for our friends with businesses in Seward. I consistently hear from my passengers how positive their interaction was with everyone in the company.
Tell us about a product or service that you’re particularly proud of.
What advice would you give to a new business owner who is working to build a business like yours?
Get out and meet the community you will be working with. There are so many people willing to give good advice in areas where they may have gone wrong. Take advantage of this. As they say, there’s no point in reinventing the wheel.
If your life was a book, what would the title be?
There are so many great wilderness areas to explore around Seward and Kenai Fjords. If you had a free weekend, where would you go?
I’m fortunate to have a helicopter at my disposal, so options are endless. I would grab a few friends and find a new spot on a map that someone is interested in, load up some gear and take off for a couple nights.