“For the last few years, Cross Country BC has run a contest between Nordic ski clubs to see who can sign up the most new early-bird members,” Liz Thorne, president, Snow Valley Nordic Ski Club, explained. “They had some great prizes for winners to choose from and we thought it was worth putting a bit of effort into this year – with just a week left. As it turned out, it didn’t take a ton of effort on our part, the Club did all the work. We set a goal of 100 new members and had 20 new members on the first day. Long story short, at the end of the week we had more than 120 new members and we won first place in our club size category!”
Promotion for the membership drive was done on Facebook and other avenues. Scrolling through the club’s Facebook page at the time viewers can see regular posts about the rental shop’s construction progress and encouragement for the drive. The mixed activity helps potential members know that the club is being invested in and regularly improved, making it an appealing choice for winter recreation.
Facebook posts from December 1, 2019 capture the club's activity.
Photo credit: Facebook - Onion Lake Ski Trails (Snow Valley Nordic Ski Club)
Their win earned them the opportunity to choose what type of prize would be most beneficial to their club and Snow Valley Nordic Ski Club had their eye on more rental skis – perfect to help fill their new rental shop that was nearing the end of construction. They received 30 brand new sets of kid-sized skis, boots and poles. The new equipment began circulation at the grand opening of the rental shop on January 25, 2020.
“Stunning performance by Snow Valley, passing Hollyburn [Cross Country Ski Club] in the final couple days and shattering their all-time membership record in the process,” Cross Country BC posted on their website when they announced the final results of the membership drive. “On November 22 Prez Liz had challenged the club to ‘100 signups in 10 days’ and they achieved more than that. Not only that, they’ve already recruited 134 first-time members… with no snow on the ground.”
According to Thorne, the 2019-20 ski season will continue to April, thanks to a five-foot base of snow (as of mid-March). The comforts of the new rental shop keeps the volunteers happy and warm so rental equipment will be more frequently available for those wanting to take advantage of spring skiing opportunities (with the exception of the 2019-20 season as the rental shop has closed early due to COVID-19).
Northern Development supported the construction of the new rental shop with a $30,000 grant through its Community Halls and Recreation Facilities program. Increasing the opportunity for and convenience of rentals will lead to increased revenue for the club and encourage more residents from Terrace, Kitimat and beyond to enjoy the 35-kilometre network of maintained trails.