Recognition for Hoodoo

This is the second in a series recognizing businesses that took home awards from the 29th business excellence awards held by the Penticton and Wine Country Chamber of Commerce.

A Penticton outdoor adventure company continues to get recognition for the many activities it offers to residents and tourists.

Hoodoo Adventures was the recipient of the hospitality/tourism excellence award given out by the chamber in October.

"It was a great honour considering the amazing businesses that were in the category," said co-owner Lyndie Hill.

The business received the same award from the chamber in 2012, as well as a home-based business award in 2010. It was started by Hill in 2007, when she returned to the city after living in New Zealand.

At the time she couldn't find anyone doing outdoor recreation and adventure tourism in the city, so she put her experience in the field to work.

She kicked it off by offering outdoor recreation programming at the community centre, mostly kids' programs, including hiking and canoeing clinics.

She then purchased a fleet of kayaks and started offering kayak courses and basic tours.

"From there we just started developing different products and found we needed to fill the winter season as well," she said.

The next step was offering a series of adventures races, including the Elevator Race and Freak n' Farmer, as well as expanding youth programs.

Out of that they realized they had a need for a facility in the community.

After much effort they were able to open the outdoor pursuits centre on Ellis Street, offering indoor climbing and other activities.

Along the way the greatest challenges she has faced is staying busy year-round.

"I love the seasons in Penticton, but that also creates the biggest challenge," she said. "We have this great tourism rush in the summer and have to work really hard for the rest of the year."

On the flip side, their events have been successful. For example the Freak n' Farmer started out from nothing and grew to 1,000 people showing up this year.

Another event, the Throwdown, has also grown to be the largest of its kind in Western Canada, she said.

She credits the success of the company at always looking at the bigger picture.

"Everything we do is on a regional scale," she said. "And we also look at what is of most benefit to the community, not just how we can make a buck off of it."

In the future, they hope to create more opportunities at the climbing gym like after school and holiday programs.

They are also looking at expanding their winter races, to draw more attention to the region and its winter splendour. 

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