The morning I arrived in Whistler I bought breakfast and a hot chocolate at Peaks and the old guy with the mustache said, "Did you see the snow on Wedge?" That was my first weekend, Labour Day 1997. The truth is I didn't know what "Wedge" was but as a kid who grew up just over there on the other side of these peaks I knew I was home and there was no place I'd rather be.
Fast forward 14 years and Peaks is long gone. So is Wild Willies where Bill Overing (RIP) sold me a mismatched pair of Volkl Explosiv III's some staffer had on hold too long. So is the Mountain Shop but my buddy Warren and I still laugh about how we all had matching Jeff Holden Valid jackets. So is Behind the Grind where Chris Quinlan took that picture with all the moms and their strollers when our son Jack was born. So are the great steak sandwiches and awful frozen fries at Quinny's. So is Jeff Blair and the Patagonia Shop. So is the Creekside Uli's and before Uli's Las Margarita's. So is that skate shop in Creekside, and a long list (insert your favourites here) of other independents who shared this home and the dream that landed me right here right now.
"I have an idea," my wife said sitting at the other end of the couch. "I don't know if you would do it...it's out of the box."
(FYI - that's my saying whenever I have a crazy idea).
"What if you ask people for help? Sell cookies, bring in some music, have a save our store event. Write to the paper, call the radio station, and tell them not to let another local business disappear."
Raise a barn, in other words.
The truth is, I did know. I knew like the last days at the old Dusty's and all of the last days at The Boot, and yes, even the "Save Citta" days. I knew like the time I saw Rabbit (RIP) tending to a fire at the end of my driveway on Needles (great long story). I knew she was right.
I woke up where I fell asleep next to my son and my daughter that night after watching my old home team lose the last game of a losing season in OT (to what has reluctantly become my new home team, the Canucks no less) and I knew I wasn't so proud I would not have to ask for help.
"I believe in defining moments in life," someone said (ask me the story one day) and Whistler, this is mine. This is our story, but this chapter in my book is about to turn in one of two directions. Nearly four years ago now with a ton of support from my best friends and my family I built Street To Peak, Street, Surf and Snow from the ground up, with the dream of sharing my home, our home, with locals and visitors from around the world. Local brands, west coast favorites, local artists, photographers, writers, books, movies, clothing brands, accessories... everything you need from the street to the peak to be authentic, to be at home at work, right here in Whistler. An industry insider once introduced the store as, "Whistler's premier lifestyle retailer," and I smiled. Unfortunately, in the meantime, the dreams and compliments and all the friends, neighbors and visitors who have supported us to this point have been no match for the tide of events that have leveled us both locally and globally the last two years.