The owner of a taxi and transportation service connecting the Nass Valley to Terrace has sold the operation and is retiring.
Perry Azak of Tilthski Transport, founded in June 1995 after purchasing the transportation licence from Bill Young of Nass Camp, sold the business to another Nass Valley entrepreneur, Steve Johnson of Gitlaxt’aamiks. last month.
Using a 15-passenger van, Azak has been offering daily service for individual passengers and for local governments, institutions and businesses in the Nass Valley.
“It has been a very good run!” commented Azak looking back on the 20 years of service he and his business have provided.
‘Tilthski’ is a childhood nickname that was bestowed on Azak as a young boy by his father and uncles.
The sale by Azak to Johnson grew out of an existing business relationship in which Tilthski Transport provided transportation services to Johnson’s existing Nass Valley Tours which takes visitors through the Nisga’a Memorial Lava Bed Provincial Park, to a volcano cone and other points of interest.
Johnson will rename the service “113 Taxi and Transportation” after the number of the highway running north of Terrace to the Nass Valley.
Johnson will continue operating on the existing business transportation schedule, but also plans on diversifying the operation providing taxi service to special events in the region such as the All Native Basketball Tournament in Prince Rupert and Hobiyee (the Nisga’a New Year) in Nisga’a villages.
He also plans on expanding the scope to complement his existing businesses Nass Valley Tours and Nass Valley Foods, an umbrella company with one subsidiary, Kirby’s Mushrooms – a seasonal pine mushroom buying business.
“For Nass Valley Tours, I’m working on certifying and retrofitting my boat to provide boat tours throughout the Valley, as well as kayak and canoe lake tours so the transport business will coincide with that,” said Johnson.
The purchase of the taxi and transportation business was made possible with support from the Nisga’a Business Development Fund in the form of a $20,000 contribution and from the Gitlaxt’aamiks Village Government.
For the individuals the businesses employ, including one full-time driver and up to 6 seasonal employees, Johnson has received targeted wage subsidy support from Nisga’a Employment Skills and Training (NEST).
(Information courtesy the Nisga’a Lisims Government.)