As you can probably appreciate, running a zip line company in the West Kootenays is a seasonal affair. We typically get going full steam ahead by the May long weekend and wrap things up once the weather starts to turn. That’s when we begin the process of shutting down for the offseason.
While it would probably be quite exhilarating to tackle our zip lines in winter, it would also be pretty darn chilly. Plus, trying to access our staging area up Kokanee Glacier Park Road in the dead of winter would be challenging, to say the least.
Besides, in order to run a zip line BC residents and tourists want to keep coming back to, we need a little downtime. It gives us a chance to:
- Evaluate how our season went
- Consider things we can do differently
- Kick our feet up and take a breather
Closing the Book on the Season
One of the first things we do after the season wraps up is to look back on how things went. Were we successful? Did we achieve our stated goals? We'll only be starting our third year in May 2017, so we don’t have a lot to compare it to just yet. However, we love what we do, we like where we’re headed and we feel like we’re just starting to scratch the surface of our potential!
While we continually monitor and maintain our zipline course throughout the season, we can really give things a thorough going over once we’re closed. This includes:
- Inspecting towers and cables
- Repairing or replacing any equipment, as needed
- Checking and replenishing inventory
Expansions and Upgrades
To start our second season, a key item on our offseason priority list involved an upgrade of Kokanee Glacier Park Road. Our main staging area is 2.2 km up an old dirt road and we worked with the BC Ministry of Transportation (MOTI) to repair a major rock section and rough patches to make it more accessible to passenger vehicles. The road is still a bit rough but it will remain a focus to work with MOTI to keep this public road reasonable for travel.
This upcoming season, our big imprivement project was to build a permanent timberframe breezeway over our office areas and gear-up deck. It’s expected to be ready for our opening Victoria Day weekend this May.
Not only does it look way more professional than what we had previously, it’ll provide our guests with dry cover when it’s wet, as well shade in summer. Now lets hope the weather is great on May Long Weekend and we don't need to use it!
There’s a lot of competition for not just zip lining, but for tourism in general. We like to have our marketing initiatives planned well in advance. That way, we’re not left scrambling when the season approaches. The off season is where we look at our fun merchandise we sell and try and improve on it for the next season.
We go full-bore for pretty much five straight months, operating seven days a week. It’s nice to take a little time to rest and spend with our families after a hectic summer schedule. A little skiing never hurts either....
To learn what our course is like when it’s open, read: The Perfect Recipe for a Zip Lining Adventure in the Kootenays.
For the ultimate zip lining adventure, check out Kokanee Mountain Zipline. Our zip line course offers fun for people of all ages.