“We’re at Grizzly Lodge, which is located 50 kilometers north of Scotch Creek in British Columbia, way up in the mountains. My first ride into the lodge here was in April of 2007. It was pretty rough. Not much going on here. The building had sat empty for a couple years. I did some riding and found some amazing terrain. And then, long story short, I bought the business in 2009 and started from the ground up.”
“What drove me was primarily my love for snowmobiling. I started doing that when I was nine. And I can’t think of a season yet where I didn’t have a sled and was riding the mountains. I’m a bit of an adventure seeker. I would classify myself as being calculated, but I certainly love the element of risk. And I find I have to push the limits a little further sometimes now with the risks to get the same adventure thrill.
“But it usually revolves around a really nasty tree line on my sled, where the consequences are high if I don’t make it. And most the time I do now, so that’s good, but that’s where I usually get my biggest thrills is on my sled.”
“Am I a competitive person? I would be described as that for sure. It’s probably filtered into my business a fair bit as far as I don’t like to fail. So, those days where I’ve had to dig deep, you just sometimes want to quit. But something in me goes, ‘Nope, that ain’t happening.’ Whatever the situation is, I like to beat it, so that’s served me well.”
“Officially we don’t open until early December when we have enough coverage for people to ride safely. So, I would say a typical season is from December 1 and we’ll usually close doors about April 20th. As far as equipment goes, wow, we have everything that you can imagine, almost. From snowmobiles and chainsaws to a track truck, snowcat, generators running 24/7 – you know, each piece has its definite purpose.
“But, should we lose any one piece, it would substantially affect the quality of stay for our guests. If we don’t have a track truck, we can’t haul food. If we don’t have a generator, we can’t make power. If we don’t have a snowcat, the trail’s rough and people aren’t happy about that. If we don’t have sleds running, well, then nobody’s riding. So, each piece certainly has its primary purpose here, and we like to keep them all running good.”
“You know, when asked the question, ‘I want to start a business similar to this; what advice would you give me?’ Start young, be prepared to work hard and look at it as a one-day-at-a-time goal. My success here’s been about waking up each morning and going, ‘What do I need to do today?’ And I do that, I go to bed and I do that the next morning. Now, that doesn’t mean you don’t have any long-term goal, but you need to break it down into at least day-by-day. And that way you don’t get overwhelmed and you don’t get burnt out, and sometimes things work out.
“How long am I planning on doing this? That depends on the day you ask me, I think. For now, the plan is just steady as she goes and continue evolving and building the business. It’s been a pretty cool progression, and I’ve learned so much along the way. I don’t think I would change it.”