Good Spring to you adventurous souls,
Seven years ago when I purchased Skydive Allegan my goal was to quit my 30 year construction career and go all in at the drop zone. I knew I wouldn’t get rich but the numbers showed I could survive and work doing what I love surrounded by amazing people. I got the doing what I love and surrounded by amazing people part right but surviving is a relative term apparently. Operating a drop zone in the traditional sense is challenging especially in Michigan. Safety Days, Year End Parties, Instructor Re-fresher Training, maintaining a camp ground for skydivers, Staff outings, high standards for maintenance of aircraft and skydiving gear, hosting boogies, Instructor Rating Courses, Demonstration Jumps, Helicopters, Hot Air Balloons, Turbine Aircraft and cooking meals all require a certain amount of work be done to pay for. Not easy when we average three months of good, safe skydiving weather a year and all of our staff have other careers, families, hobbies and/or school.
As it stands today we do not have the appropriate staff to pull off a single day of tandem jumping and the tandem jumps are what paid for all of the aforementioned traditional drop zone amenities.
Now, this doesn’t mean we won’t be doing tandems. We still have tandem instructors, myself included, though most tandem customers desire photos and/or video and we don’t have the staff for two tandem jumps to be in the plane simultaneously getting video. If you wish to come tandem jump with us either as a single tandem or double tandem where only one of you is getting video please contact us and we will get you on the schedule. Also, if our staff situation changes, we will add some tandem days to the books to accommodate those who wish to jump tandem with us and post these on social media to try to reach you.
For those of you looking to enter into the sport of skydiving, we still offer tandem jumps as part of our student progression. More information about our student progression can be found on our website or don’t hesitate to contact us.
As for you skydivers….if you haven’t heard we took pre-payment for jumps as fee for a Club Membership to operate the DZ for sport jumping. The details of the club were posted on our Experienced Jumper Facebook Group and Student Facebook Group. We still have limited spots available for membership.
Moving forward we will have days where we are only open for club members. When club members schedule appropriately we will staff accordingly and it’s possible we won’t have the resources to accommodate additional skydivers. If the club hasn’t reserved all of our resources we will make them available to non-club members as we see fit. If I think there will be a conflict I will reach out to club members for approval. We will continue to utilize our Google Calendar for scheduling jumps and Facebook and Twitter to communicate jump status and weather updates.
Additional changes you can expect are increased jump prices, rigging for club members only, club member only Instructor re-fresher training and Rating Renewal Seminars.
While recognizing your dream will not be realized, at least not in the way you dreamt it, I feel like this new look was an acceptable compromise given all of the variables at hand. Thank you for supporting Skydive Allegan and the great sport of Skydiving. I hope to see you at the Drop Zone.
Dennis Bennett, DZO Skydive Allegan