Kelowna Yamaha wins dealer of the year for the fifth time

Terry and Laura Poirier prove themselves as the best snowmobile dealers in the province

by Karen Kornelsen

Kelowna Yamaha owner Terry Poirier
Kelowna Yamaha owner Terry Poirier loves to ride. Photo courtesy Terry Poirier

For the fifth time in 12 years, Kelowna Yamaha has once again taken home the BC Snowmobile Federation Dealer of the Year Award for the 2012-13 season.

Terry and Laura Poirier, owners of Kelowna Yamaha, have gone above and beyond in promoting the sport of snowmobiling and are proud sledders and dealership owners.

The couple has been running the dealership since September of 2000. Terry is an avid sledder. He, Laura and his staff are seen on the club trails almost every weekend . As a company they go out of their way to promote the sport and the Kelowna Snowmobile Club.

SnoRiders caught up with Terry to find out what he loves most about sledding and running a dealership.

How long have you lived in Kelowna? I worked at Kootenay Cycle and Southview Cycle in Cranbrook through the 1980s, then moved here to Kelowna in 1988.

How does it feel to win the BC Snowmobile Federation Dealer of the Year Award once again? It is a tremendous honour to receive this award, especially since it is based on quality, not quantity. We are not the largest snowmobile dealership in B.C. or the Okanagan, we just strive to be the best snowmobile dealership. Period. We try our best to treat all customers with the utmost care and respect, as our customers become our friends and our friends are our customers.

What do you love most about your job? Helping to create the smiles on the faces of happy customers and listening to their stories after, or during, a great ride.

What do you value most in your business? Our people, both employees and customers. They are all great people.

How do you provide support to your community or local club? We support local charities and fundraisers, like the fundraiser we do for the Kelowna Snow Hoots and the Canadian Avalanche center. We also do parades, sled drags and of course other events all throughout the year. We are a full line Yamaha dealership, so we have four seasons of fun.

How long have you been snowmobiling? I first rode on a snowmobile when I was about eight years old, so that would give me over 40 years of experience. Ouch.

What kind of sled do you ride? I ride a Yamaha Nytro mountain.

What do you love most about riding? We are all very passionate about all aspects of sledding. The adrenalin, camaraderie, exploring and especially introducing new people to our sport.

Where do you usually ride? I ride almost exclusively in the Greystokes area near Big White.

What is your favourite kind of riding? Boondocking in untracked powder.

What has been one of your most memorable rides? Well, it's hard to pick one, since every Sunday ride seems better than the previous Sunday ride. I guess that is because the powder keeps getting deeper. But riding from Grizzly Lodge really stands out as a great memory. Very deep snow combined with some blue sky and a backcountry lodge that caters to sledders.

Excerpt from the nomination letter received:

Terry and his staff attend every club meeting. They volunteer whenever the club needs help with a project or an event. Kelowna Yamaha holds an annual fall fundraiser to debut the latest Thunderstruck videos and to raise money for the KSC and for the Canadian Avalanche Association. They put on an annual member appreciation day at our HiiiTin cabin, providing food, refreshments and product demo opportunities for any member that wants to attend. They support the idea of “Let’s Ride BC” and "Take a Friend Snowmobiling" by making demo rides available throughout the winter at club events. They support membership sales and in addition to selling memberships at their shop they often come up with innovative ideas to increase sales. As an example of their enthusiasm and belief that we need to grow our club membership, they had a promotion this past season that included a free membership with the purchase of a new snowmobile.

Terry's motorized interests encompass more than snowmobiling. He and his staff are involved with summer motorized activities in the Central Okanagan and they actively support the ATV and Dirt Bike community particularly the Okanagan Trail Riders in their ground breaking Dirt Bike I ATV trail system.

Overall, Terry's enthusiasm for the business of snowmobiling, his quality of service and the support he has given to the Kelowna Snowmobile Club over the past 12 years has been constant and highly visible. His efforts to support and grow snowmobiling in our area puts him in that elite class of dealers that truly recognize the value of volunteers and the Club system . Kelowna Yamaha clearly deserves provincial if not national recognition.

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