The boat and jet ski marina at Cultus Lake is embracing the power of social media, and the influencers within it.
Cultus Lake Marina, under its new ownership, is building brand recognition as they gear up for an official grand opening in the summer of 2017.
Their recent familiarization day brought in social media pros, bloggers, YouTube personalities, online business owners and traditional media staff to give their jet skis and boat rentals a try.
It’s all about getting people to “experience lake life,” and enjoy it enough that they want to share that experience.
“Getting behind the wheel of a boat or a jet ski – it’s thrilling, it’s fun. Most people don’t own a boat or a jet ski,” said Connect Media’s Riley Forman who coordinated the familiarization day with Slap Communications’ Summer Dhillon.
It’s often that notoriety of a day’s adventures that inspires someone to share it on social media with a photo or video.
“It’s kind of a funny thing. The first thing people do when they get on a jet ski or a boat is take a selfie. It’s almost more important than the experience itself,” Forman laughed. Check out #CultusLakeLife or #CultusLakeMarina tags online, and you’ll see some of the recent visitors exploring the beauty of Cultus.
If your device isn’t waterproof, however, you probably want to leave the photo-taking to someone on dry land.
Summer Dhillon created the ‘fam day’ guest list not by inviting a group of B.C.’s outdoor enthusiasts, but by putting the call out to influencers representing a variety of industries, who communicate with audiences through many different means.
Reps from radio, television, and print media were joined by online video producers, bloggers as well as those who work mostly with Instagram and Twitter.
Fashion writers boarded a boat with restaurant critics. Travel bloggers shared a jet ski with news corresponders. That heterogenous group, Dhillon says, is essential in reaching the largest and most diverse crowd of followers.
“When you have down time, we all tend to like the same thing. Being outdoors, enjoying lake life,” Dhillon explained. “These are people who will connect with the product and enjoy it.”
Boat and jet ski renters have – for the most part – free roam of the lake, as long as they keep 100 yards away from the shoreline and other vessels, and give others the right of way. They had time to immerse themselves in the product, and share what they want based on their experience with it.
Cultus Lake Marina staff are working toward the goal of making the marina “the ultimate water sports destination experience,” where visitors could spend time and relax, rather than simply a place to rent a jet ski.
They’ve updated their equipment, added a pontoon boat to the fleet, and boosted retail offerings with branded apparel and a well-stocked supply of board and boat accessories.
To enhance the overall ambience and vibe of the marina they’ve re-decked the dock, refreshed the building and ice cream stand, and are adding a retractable awning and new signage.
Around five per cent of Cultus Lake Marina patrons are from within Chilliwack, and nearly 94 per cent of patrons live elsewhere in the Fraser Valley or Lower Mainland.
Moving forward, staff say they want the marina to become more integral to the local community. They plan to offer discounted “local yokel” rates for Cultus Lake residents and host special events and fundraisers for community groups.
Beginning in 2017, the marina will also be working closely with tourism operators to show visiting groups what Cultus Lake has to offer.
The marina is located at #50 Sunnyside Blvd.