Mountain Centre Opens its doors to a surprising array of users

Quilters.jpgThe Vancouver Island Mountain Centre continues to attract groups for both winter and summer.

“But full and part-time residents at Mount Washington can also make use of the Centre's many services,’ says Manager Andrew Scherck.

“There are a ton of great options for mountain residents again this year,’ he said. The gym is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

There are monthly passes available for regular visitors as well as 10-visit punch cards that are affordable, can be shared and don't expire.

“They end up being a great value at $3.50 to $4.50 per drop-in,’ he said.

Gold Pass holders at the Resort can find a three-free visit pass in the coupon section. Tourism Mount Washington members can also receive free punch cards with their TMW cards.

“This allows (residents) to try out the gym for free before deciding if they want to buy a 10-punch card or monthly pass.’

VIMC offers free fitness centre access to Mount Washington Alpine Resort staff and volunteers throughout the month of December as a thank you.

“Jenn, our masseuse, is back for another season and will be providing pre-booked massages from December through March, with the possibility of extending her offerings through April,’ Scherck said.

She is also the resident yoga instructor and will offer drop-in and private classes.

A number of coaching and athlete development clinics are lined up for the winter months.

“Diverse groups are booked for every weekend in winter - 36 groups this year and three already booked for next winter. Business also continued to improve over summer,’ Scherck said.

“We saw some growth in our summer business, however we are always shooting to improve,’ he said.

The one huge surprise this year was the popularity of their shoulder season, October and November. October ended up being our busiest month with five groups staying at the centre for a combined 21 days.

“Quilters were the big winners in the off-season,’ Scherck added. “There were four guilds visiting for an average of five days per group. They have all re-booked for multiple dates in 2014.’

“It's the type of facility that lends itself to people that are creative,’ Vancouver Island Mountain Sports Society Chairman Rick Morson said. “It's cost effective. It's for people from all age groups.’

He praised Scherck for the work he has done to promote the Centre with groups outside the snow season. “That's one of the goals of the Society is to have (the Centre) used all the time.’

Morson also discovered quite by accident that the Centre is ideal for musical groups too. He brought his mother for a tour of the building and a choral group was staying there. “They were singing at the time and I didn't realize the acoustics were that good!’