Why We Are Offering Half Price Heli Skiing for Canadians in 2021
Our Canadian heli skiing market share has traditionally been VERY small, so when the prospect of a Borders Closed winter seriously loomed over us in July, we knew we needed to do something about it. For the needle to move, it had to be an outstanding offer. We needed positive sticker shock. Canadians already face the headwinds of a weak currency. 3 months later, we are happy to report that to our knowledge we had the first offer out there and it remains the best one. We probably haven’t made too many friends within the industry but that aside we reckon: Mission accomplished.
How can you afford that? Are you that desperate?
Ever imagined the fixed costs of running an off the grid lodge with 16 buildings in winter, that all need water and heat? It’s not pretty. Very few operations are setup like this. It’s much more common to have one lodge where everything happens. What we have is not efficient unless it’s occupied. Our goal is to cover those fixed costs, retain our staff and keep the business wheels turning. No doubt it will be a lean year. We will need to keep it tight. But that is the kind of challenge we do not shy away from and we WILL come out the other side better for it.
That must mean you are overcharging your guests on a normal year?
We are not in this alone. We have approached our suppliers with whom we have worked for many years, explaining our situation and plan. Many of them have been able to provide COVID friendly rates. The government will be offering some assistance with payroll. Our costs are therefore lower than usual. This coupled with a drastic reduction in revenue will mean that we can make it work this year but it’s not sustainable as a long term, multi year solution. We know that by looking at worldwide heliskiing pricing, BC offers the most value. Within that BC market, we are considered to be highly competitive.
Footnote: The experience we offer may evoke certain images of a rather opulent existence. Fair enough. Keep in mind though that the characters that make up the core of the BC Heliski industry are not nest-feathering, greedy, self serving tycoons. They are type A, against-all-odds, make-it-happen people. They have a deeply ingrained passion for all things mountains, outside and snow. Most importantly they seem (to us) to be driven by a need to share all this with others.
So far, and it’s early days yet, Canadians have embraced this offer and are keen to heliski. We are stoked at the prospect of showing them around, because we know they’ll be blown away.
…And make no mistake, we are chomping at the bit to see the return of our international guests in 2022.