RIVERTON, Utah – A Riverton man who lost his job in the travel industry because of the COVID-19 pandemic has now started his own travel company.

“Who is crazy enough to start their own company, a travel company, in the middle of the pandemic?” Philip Cochrane asked. “It made sense. It made sense to start my own company.”

Before the pandemic, the travel industry was booming and Cochrane said the company he worked for was set to have a record year. Then the virus hit, and the industry took a nosedive.

“Everything shut down overnight,” said Cochrane, who has been in the travel industry for 20 years and has traveled to more than 80 countries across the world.

It all changed when he was laid off two months ago.

It just so happened the next day his close friend, Dennis Mulcahy, got word that he too was getting let go.

The friends decided to combine their talents and start their own company. They call it iCentiviz.

It is a travel company designed to help businesses and families plan their dream getaways.

“We are hedging our bets in an industry that will return,” said Mulcahy. “Can we get through the year, can we build the business through the pandemic and get to the other end of it?”

Cochrane said they have already seen great success with businesses and families that are anxious to make 2021 a memorable year – in a good way.

“There is going to be a huge travel boom, and now with the vaccine people being stuck at home so much they want to get out,” said Cochrane. “It’s busy and we are excited about that.”