Thanks to a classic car cruise enthusiast from Vancouver Island, area businesses that were affected by last year’s wildfires have an opportunity to get their message out to the hundreds of cruisers who will be coming through the region starting on July 5.
Lori Camire, Community Futures Alberni-Clayoquot manager, says that about 10 years ago she was out for dinner with friends, and they decided to start holding classic car cruises. They sent out e-mails to other friends, and over the years the events grew larger, with messages going out to hundreds of people in British Columbia, Alberta, and Washington State.
Camire and other Vancouver Island Cruisers passed through the area in early July 2017, just before the Interior wildfires started. A picture taken in Williams Lake on July 6 looking south shows nothing but clear blue skies; by the time the group got to Quesnel the fires had taken hold, and Camire saw firsthand the impact they were having.
Now the Vancouver Island Cruisers are organizing the Highway 97 Wildfire Recovery Cruise, to provide support for the region a year after the wildfires. Although the event officially kicks off in Williams Lake on July 8, hundreds of cruisers are expected to start travelling through the region several days before that, and will be taking side trips to various parts of the region on their own time.
The website for the event (https://2018recoverycruise.com/) states, “We plan to go there [Williams Lake] again in 2018 to spend some time with friends and some money in local businesses. We also plan to invite as many classic car and motorcycle enthusiasts as we can find, to also attend.”
In order to give local businesses even more of a boost, business owners are invited to post details of deals and events, which will be listed on the website for cruise participants to see.
The listing is free, and businesses are encouraged to send along details about what they have to offer, whether it be special discounts for cruisers, a unique event taking place while the cruisers are in the region, or a few words about what cruisers can expect to find if they stop by your business. (“Home of the best cinnamon buns in the Interior!”).
Business owners can also send a picture or logo to accompany your listing and note if you are able to provide a service specifically for the cruisers.
“It’s to help businesses, and is open to everyone,” says Camire.
“They can post deals, say ‘Here we are, come see us, this is what we offer and why you should stop here.’ People will be looking for meals, accommodation, things like hoses for them to wash their cars.”
All listings will be on the event website, and notifications will automatically be e-mailed to car enthusiasts who have signed up to receive updates.
Camire says this cruise will probably feature hundreds of classic and vintage cars and motorcycles, as well as newer cars that have had work done to them.
“It’s open to everybody. We don’t care what kind of car you drive. And people are planning their trips now.”
Any business that wants to post a listing can do so at https://2018recoverycruise.com/contact/. Pictures and logos can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information or assistance, e-mail email@example.com or call 250-248-7384.