Lyndie Hill has long had a dream of building an indoor climbing facility in Penticton, she just didn’t know it would happen so fast.
“When I lived in New Zealand they had an outdoor pursuits centre and it is a big deal there. I always saw some symmetry with what they are doing and what we have available to us in Penticton,” she said. “So this was always in the back of my mind, then the right building came available in October and we just went for it. I had this vision to bring this centre to Penticton; we just didn’t think it would come this quickly.”
The 5,000 square foot building located at 131 Ellis St. became available and Hill, who is CEO of Hoodoo Adventures, jumped on it. It will feature a 2,000 square foot indoor climbing facility and will be the central tour booking office for Hoodoo Adventures. The family-friendly Outdoor Pursuits Centre will cater to school groups, kids parties and offer indoor activities year-round.
“We have this huge climbing community in the area and from what I have heard so far, lots of people are really excited about the centre. I have been getting lots of emails of people looking forward to supporting it,” said Hill.
Growing up, Hill was exposed to camping, fishing and other outdoor activities. But it wasn’t until she was an adult and spending time travelling the world when she found her passion.
“I was travelling and trying to figure out what to do with my life. One day I was reading this outdoor magazine and it popped out at me — an outdoor recreation school,” said Hill.
The avid outdoorsperson immersed herself in the industry while in New Zealand for eight years before she decided to move to Penticton to make an impact on the community she grew up in.
“One of the things I like to share is that there are lots of opportunities in the world. You don’t have to be keyholed into a traditional job. I grew up with all these great opportunities that lots of kids don’t get to have. Now I want to make sure those kids get to have the chances I did and through the centre I can,” said Hill.
While the Outdoor Pursuits Centre doesn’t open until January, Hoodoo Adventures is already planning for after school and holiday programs for kids, courses for adults and some that both parents and their children can share together. As well, there will be bike and sea kayak rentals.
The climbing area will suit both experienced climbers and those who are beginners.
“We wanted something for everyone. It will be a great starting place for people to introduce them to outdoor opportunities,” said Hill.
Opening the Outdoor Pursuits Centre means Hill will have to hire more staff and continue to grow her business.
“Being able to give back to the community is a big reason why we moved back here. I wanted to offer the community something and now we can do that year-round,” said Hill.