“Everything is being questioned and up in the air, but when you get down to the core of why we do this – it’s still there and authentic as ever. You can throw a pandemic at the community and it still comes down to connections and communication, being out there in nature, getting exercise. It sounds simple and is so often forgotten, but to us it’s the most important thing there is.”
– Mike Hill
Mike, Lyndie, and each member of their dedicated team care deeply about building stronger connections – to the outdoors and among their community. Hoodoo Adventures has been providing authentic outdoor adventures, activities, and events since 2007. The COVID-19 pandemic required a complete overhaul and restructuring of everything they do, but Hoodoo Adventures is still here and ready to come back stronger than ever. The passion and dedication Mike and Lyndie pour into their business is reflected back by an appreciative community of adventurers: In the midst many changes, Hoodoo Adventures was recently awarded a Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice award, making it part of the top 10% in the world compared to other similar attractions based on customer reviews.
“One of the core reasons our business even exists is because Lyndie wanted to affect change in the youth of the area, let them see where they live and how amazing it is. We’re still doing that, at smaller numbers and in different ways – we’re a gateway to adventure.”
– Mike Hill
Through the confusion, disillusion, and worry the pandemic had brought on, Mike and Lyndie registered for the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Resiliency Program for a place to turn to. The program offered comfort and relief, providing a central focus to tap into during a time of many unknowns. Among a sea of mixed up messages, knowing there was a plan along with resources to access proved to be very valuable.
“Creativity is everything right now, every business has to look at what they’re doing and how they can do it differently. Knowing that everyone is in the same boat and that we have great leadership behind us, that gave me some strength. The tourism industry is full of people who are passionate about their trade, about their creations, their jobs, their lives, many of whom work to play every day. Their passion is contagious and we need this now more than ever.”
– Lyndie Hill
Knowing that cost may be a barrier, Mike and Lyndie brainstormed ideas of how to get locals more involved in outdoor activities without having to purchase gear or worry about maintaining it. On top of their already popular rental programs, Lyndie thought of introducing a new membership deal, offering unlimited access to equipment and time slots at the climbing gym, as well as discounts to tours and courses at a low monthly rate.
During another innovative pandemic initiative, participants biked or hiked along close-to-home routes, equipped with maps provided by Hoodoo Adventures. The “Virtual Challenge” included checkpoints to take photos of and submit for a chance to win great prizes from local businesses. Many locals took the opportunity to get outside with their closest circle, substitute for kids’ canceled P.E. classes, and stay connected to the community from a distance.
“We have an amazing community and live in this amazing place, we’re very lucky and have to remind ourselves of that as well. It’s important to focus on your own mental health too, it’s so easy for the anxiety of all of this to take over. Luckily, what we do helps people with that and provides that fresh air and connection to nature that is more important now than ever.”
– Lyndie Hill