With all of France celebrating the World Cup final on Sunday it seemed only appropriate that the French in Whistler do the same. Joel Thibault is hosting a World Cup final party Sunday morning at Joel’s at Nicklaus North. The local French community will be there in force to see France play Brazil, but supporters of either side are welcome. This is the first time France has made it to the final, so many French consider the tournament a huge success already. Moreover, the French usually cheer for Brazil after their team’s out of the competition. Joel will have a large-screen TV for the event, which gets underway at 11:30 a.m. Do the French and Brazilians know anything about partying? Mountain Adventure Centres win award Apparently Whistler Blackcomb's four retail/rental shops are doing something right. The Mountain Adventure Centres have recently received the Innovative Retailer of the Year award for 1998 from the Retail Council of Canada. The award was presented to Whistler/Blackcomb on June 22 at the Excellence in Retailing Awards held in Toronto. The category aims to recognize overall market leadership through innovative approaches to retailing. The Mountain Adventure Centres were also finalists in two other categories: Store Layout & Design and Retail Marketing and Advertising. The Adventure Centres, located at each mountain base as well as on the hills, have been promoting the use of different sports equipment by allowing people to test drive all the latest gear and trade it in to any of the other centres. Sandy Black, who is Director of Retail for Intrawest, says accessibility and quality of service have been key elements in earning the accolade. "Typically, resort retail shops have been poorly located and have been a negative experience for the guest. Our objective with the Mountain Adventure Centres was to dramatically change the rental experience through design, decor, service and location."