The investor search did not yield immediate results. As a matter of fact, the sub prime lending crisis discouraged lenders and they backed away from financing. Nevertheless, a business plan was developed and the investor search continued with a concerted effort early in 2009 to locate investors. A team of M.B.A. students at Kennesaw State University adopted the project for their graduate class and offered many ideas and suggestions. But, by late spring 2009 it appeared the Canopy Tour would be postponed for yet another year.
Then near the end of July 2009, Leah found Hocking Hills Canopy Tours in Ohio on the Internet. Hocking Hills was in its second season of operation and had been designed by John Walker of Bonsai-Design during the same month he visited Georgia in 2007. Seizing on this coincidence, Leah placed a call to Hocking Hills with a number of questions in hand.
She learned the names and phone numbers of most of the partners and was soon leaving messages with each of them. She quickly learned that Hocking Hills was quite a successful tour and then came the surprise, “Why don’t you and your husband come visit us and do our Tour? We can then sit down and talk because we might be interested in investing in your course!”