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Monday, 19 December 2016 05:48

Saskatchewan success story will see major change in 2017

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Come January, the Eco-Adventures 306 Collective (Cypress Hills Eco-Adventures Ltd. and Elk Ridge Eco-Adventures Ltd.) will technically no longer exist ...  at least just in name.

Officially in January, the ever-popular Eco-Adventures will have a new name Tree0Six Adventure Parks, playing on the Saskatchewan area code and the area and terrain where the outdoor adventure parks are situated.
Founder and owner Jori Kirk says while many businesses would be concerned about brand loyalty and messing with a name which has been synonymous with outdoor enjoyment, the name change was definitely not a spur of the moment type of decision.
“We’ve really turned into an adventure park with activities. We decided to test it, so the new name reflects more closely what we’re about — more different type of adventures. The 306 area code is fun. We take our business and safety very seriously, but we are also whimsical and fun,” explains Kirk from his office in Prince Albert.
He adds partly the decision was easy because it was the right time.
“People would ask ‘is this new?’ We’d respond ‘Yes for here, but we’ve been in business in Cypress Hills for a while.’ Now Elk Ridge site has matured a little bit and so now combined we’ve got something fresh and we thought we’d start the rebrand right away.
“(We’re) not really fearful of that (brand name loss). People still know who we are.”
Kirk says an issue which may have pushed him to change names was that while at a conference in Ontario in September, he met up with a fellow business owner who told him he was throwing around the idea of trademarking the term ‘eco-adventure.’ It gave Kirk cause to wonder if that phrase may cause litigation issues down the road.
He thought he might as well be pro-active about it and do a name change now.
“It was perfect timing (in September) and figuring out some ideas settling on this name and redesign the logo which has a lot of the same elements of the old logo,” says Kirk. 
He adds Elk Ridge grew a lot in 2016 and while it stood alone, it was built as a complement to the Cypress site. There are a lot of similar activities, the rules, harnessing, the same briefing and signage, but there are some differences.
Those differences include the safety helmets are different colours, anything from Elk Ridge have ship ladders while Cypress has rope ladders and a few slightly activities, because as Kirk found out, the demographics are different.
The Prince Albert area site was more of a corporate fun and a team-building get away.
“Cypress there are good things for school groups and pre-summer and summer fun,” explains Kirk. “We’ve got the parachute simulator in Cypress. Ok, got that there then what’s the next big, crazy activity (we could do for Elk Ridge), the giant swing.”   
It’s a lot of work to maintain the quality and get the business to grow. He says for one of the first times, there is a high turn over of long-time staff so he will be in for some adjustments.
“It’s been six seasons of operations and it’s grown a lot. (There’s) been a lot of changes,” explains Kirk. “I still want to have the priority that it’s a good experience for visitors which will enrich their lives.”
He also feels that way about his employees who he wants to have them grow as people while they are there.
“(I) want to have that same level of service on yearly basis ... it’s not that hard to find good positive people but I’m not naive enough to think that (there aren’t exceptions). I’ll see what I have and may to put in some time myself. (I’m) not opposed to rolling up my sleeves to get back into it.”
The official launch of Tree0Six Adventure Parks branding will take place in January or early in February.
Eco-Adventure Awards
• 2015 TripAdvisor — No. 1 Outdoor Activity in Saskatchewan;
• 2015 BDC Young Entrepreneur of the Year — National Finalist (Saskatchewan);
• 2014 Tourism Industry Association of Canada — Hilton Worldwide Small to Medium-sized Business of the Year Award;
• 2014 Prince Albert Now — Best Place to Get Into the Swing of Things;
• 2013 Tourism Saskatchewan Awards of Excellence — Business of the Year Award (under 50 employees);
• 2013 “Best Guided Tour in Saskatchewan” — Readers of Prairies North Magazine;
• 2013 CFIB Small Business Champion — Canadian Federation of Independent Business;
• 2013 Tourism Saskatchewan Awards of Excellence — Online Marketing Award;
• 2012 Tourism Saskatchewan Awards of Excellence — Fred Heal Tourism Ambassador Award (Individual);
• 2012 Tourism Saskatchewan Awards of Excellence — Service Excellence Award (Individual);
• 2011 Tourism Saskatchewan Awards of Excellence — Rookie of the Year Award.

Read 1898 times Last modified on Thursday, 15 December 2016 11:26
Ryan Dahlman

Managing Editor