As many of you already know, we keep great company that is why we have a great company. Our team, their experience, professionalism, and personal care are all trademarks of our daily service. These qualities were on full display and put to the test this March.
In March, for the first time in 20 years of owning Great Canadian Heli-Skiing, Maaike and I took our kids (now teenagers) on spring holidays for some quality family time…and a lesson in how to remotely manage a declaration of a world pandemic. What we learned is that we have great partners in Silverking Helicopters, and that our managers and leaders are very capable to take care of our guests whether we are at home, in Golden, or away floating on a boat with only a satellite phone for communication.
Maaike, attempting to communicate with the outside world (aka our leadership back at Great Canadian), beyond our Carribean paradise, as the world declared a global pandemic and our 2020 heliskiing year came to an abrupt end.
The moment was like Munch’s famous painting “The Scream” with a Caribbean paradise background, which likely many of you have experienced in different forms over the past six weeks. The anxiety of the moment was framed by the priceless time spent with our family and the re-emphasis of the wonderful and capable people that we have surrounded ourselves with. So, ‘thank you’, to all of our team members and partners for rising to the occasion and taking such good care of our guests.
Short but Exceptional Year
We look forward to having you back, celebrating life with you, and making memories for you, your family, and friends. Your absence only makes us appreciate even more what we normally have; vast mountains to explore with great people. Explore we did in December, January, February, and half of March. It was a great year, with lots of snow to heli-ski. We celebrated over 200 ‘Best Day Ever’ experiences and many more just amazing ski days this winter. Some were the result of the record snowfalls in January, and many more were experienced due to the simple fact that we were in the mountains, skiing with family or friends, and creating memories that will last a lifetime. We know the guests that skied with us this past winter enjoyed themselves as over 60% of you rebooked for next winter. Knowing what we know now, we appreciate those bookings even more, as they emphasize your support and approval for what we do. We look forward to focusing on the future with you, and your friends and family by continuing our purpose to deliver on creating more Best Days of our lives, together.
The Future is Friendly
Even after having dealt with the sudden interruption to our good times mid-March by COVID-19, I can still appreciate the business we have created, as even from a distance, so many of our employees, partners, and guests have offered, and generously provided, their support. Our whole team would like to personally thank the 300+ guests that have rebooked already for next year, and individually recognize the following guests, for booking themselves and their groups for next winter (2021) after the Pandemic was declared: Bret, Dustin, David, Eric, Jan, Quirin, Laurin, Ron, Kilian, Daniel, Charles, John, Charlie, Steve, Tom, James, Tom, Stuart, Jeffrey, Thomas, Jock, Tim, Patrick, Bobby, Steve, Patti, Jean-Frederic, Thomas, Brian, Zac, Jayson, and Jeff.
More than just a booking, many of you have reached out and voiced how much you value being a part of our small mountain community and your desire to support us now. A couple of calls of support from guests that we had to cancel this year were well-timed and much appreciated. One from Jan who reached out early on to ask if he can do anything to help us and to let us know he wanted to expand his group for next year. Another call with Steve included his plans to return, but also some appreciated business advice. Thank you Jan and Steve and all of you who have booked this last month, as well as those of you who have re-booked during this past winter.
We are Grateful for Your Support
I know that all of you have been impacted, some more than others, and heli-skiing with Great Canadian at this moment is either a ‘great memory’ or something to ‘look forward to’ in a more distant future. That said, the mountains and our team will be ready for you when you can return. We will continue to work hard to get everything ready for you, to set up all the intricate details of guides, helicopters and service staff in a remote location, making sure that all there is left to do is for you to ‘show up’ and have an incredible holiday in the mountains.
Furthermore, our Great Canadian Heli-Skiing team recognizes that the only way to keep the dream alive is through the support of those who are still able to join us next winter. If you are able to heli-ski in 2021, please know that you are supporting a business that is not just our team’s livelihood but also our lifestyle, which we know you value as part of your lives. You may even consider bringing family members, or maybe even a friend or employee that could use something to look forward to. Maaike and I personally promise that with any new challenge either of us faces, we will do the right thing, by you and our employees. As we did this winter, we make decisions – the long-term winners – knowing that what we do for others has already been done for us.