Heli Purchases Great Canadian Heli-Skiing and Heather Mountain Lodge in Golden, British Columbia Canada
Guests will have access to their Best Day Ever in Golden and around the world. Saturday December 17th, 2022
Golden – Heli announced today that it has closed on the purchase of Great Canadian Heli-Skiing and Heather Mountain Lodge located half-way between Golden and Revelstoke, BC at the East gate of Glacier National Park. The lodge and ski tenure will continue to operate as the leader in boutique heli-skiing.

Great Canadian Heli-Skiing was founded in 1988, in prime heli-skiing real estate. It operates in the legendary Purcell and Selkirk mountain ranges, just north of the birthplace of heli-skiing. Its neighbor, Rogers Pass, a ski touring mecca is one of the snowiest places in Canada. The company pioneered small group heli-skiing, being the first operation to exclusively fly in the Astar helicopter. In 1996, the classically Canadian timber-framed Heather Mountain Lodge was built as a luxurious staging for winter heli-skiing, and summer adventures in Canada’s undiscovered Glacier National Park. Now its adventurous guests are welcomed by a warm and personable team of service professionals that have a passion for the mountains they live in. Each night the day’s adventures are celebrated by locally foraged and farmed foods, wine and beer and touched by live fire in the culinary concept named Kindle. It’s been a creative adventure for the Porters, the owners for the past 23 years, and an inspired acquisition by Andy Culp and Brock Strasbourger, the founders of Heli.

Greg and Maaike Porter purchased the businesses in 2000 as the most exciting way they could dream of to make a living and raise their children in the small mountain town of Golden, BC. “Maaike and I were only 25 and 27 years old, but these opportunities are so rare, so you have to grab a hold of your dreams when they present themselves” reminisced Greg when describing their purchase 23 years ago. “Dreams only become real and successful when the people around you share them. For that we are so grateful to all our employees, guests and suppliers for investing their own talents to create such an incredible community and destination.” Expounding on her favorite business quote by hospitality legend Four Seasons founder Izzy Sharpe, “Systemize the predictable, humanize the exceptional”, Maaike described how its been the company’s team members that turned the puzzle pieces of the operational processes into what guests would regularly exclaim as their “Best Day Ever”. “Together we transformed the lodge services into a daily celebration of life.” Maaike stated glowingly, “so naturally when we looked towards the future we knew we needed people to share this vision. We found that in the passion and energy with which Andy and Brock approached us.”

Culp and Strasbourger, both self-described as “recovering bankers”, launched Heli in 2016 as a marketplace for heli-skiing and other adventure travel (kitesurfing, surfing, diving, mountain biking, etc.) by partnering with operations, like Great Canadian Heli-Skiing, around the world. “Heli has traditionally been a tech business focused on customer acquisition and building booking software for operations like Great Canadian. Over the years, we found ourselves in a very unique position in the adventure travel and hospitality space with thousands of established relationships with the best supply in the world and very powerful customer insights. It became clear to us that we should consider vertical integration. We evaluated a number of opportunities in the last couple years but we couldn’t find the “right” moment until now. This made too much sense from both a strategic and investment thesis perspective,” says Strasbourger, Heli co-founder.

When asked about what this purchase means for the future of Great Canadian Heli-Skiing and Heli, Culp replied, “Very little will change. We have been in this industry for long enough to know that it’s the staff and guides at these operations that make them so special and successful. We told Maaike and Greg from the beginning that we want the entire team to stay on and we feel very strongly about respecting the legacy of not just Great Canadian Heli-Skiing, but the entire community of operators who we think of as friends and peers.” As for our existing business Heli, we will continue to support sales and marketing on behalf of all of our partners in BC heli-skiing and beyond.” When asked to comment on how it feels to have secured the Great Canadian Heli-Skiing asset, Culp paused and answered, “interior British Columbia is where the forefathers of heli-skiing pioneered the sport – it is where the best and most reliable conditions are with the most diverse and interesting terrain. To be entrusted with one of the greatest trophies on the planet is a true honor.”

With the conclusion of the sale there is a deep sense of respect, optimism and opportunity that has been achieved in working together to fulfill another set of powder filled dreams of ownership, complete with a mountain more to come in the minds of current and future guests. With these life changing goals in mind, the Porters will continue to assist the Heli team with the transition of ownership over the next year. “There is lots of work to do, a lot of great people to be introduced, and a lot of fun to be had over the next year.” concluded Greg Porter, when asked about the upcoming season. “Together with Greg and Maaike, the Heli team looks forward to delivering a successful season for our guests and employees. We see a future full of Best Day Evers for everyone” declares Andy Culp, “It’s why the company exists.”

Great Canadian Heli-Skiing & Heather Mountain Lodge
Web: canadianheli-skiing.com heathermountainldoge.com
Email: BestDayEver@CanadianHeli-Skiing.com
Phone: 250 344-2326

Web: www.heli.life
Email: team@heli.life
Phone: 888 420-6534

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