News » Whistler

Shuttles and beer

by

comment

Shoestring Lodge celebrates 10 th anniversary

Who: The Porterhouse Quintet

What: 10th Anniversary Party

Where: Shoestring Lodge

When: Saturday, Feb. 9

Copies of Backpackers newspaper and travel magazines line the tables and wooden shelves, as travellers loaf about the lobby recounting their powder day.

Just another day at the Shoestring Lodge, fondly known as the "independent travellers’ friend."

It’s hard to believe its unique ambience has been around for a decade. Actually, the lodge has been around for more than 30 years, next to Highway 99 at the entrance to White Gold. But next weekend the Shoestring Lodge will celebrate its 10 th anniversary in its present incarnation.

"It’s pretty rare you walk into a Whistler hotel and find people playing cards by the fire," said Ben Horne, proprietor since 1992.

He and a business partner, interested in investing in a B.C. resort town, bought the property from Nelson Skalbania.

The anniversary will be celebrated in style, with music from the Porterhouse Quintet, a funk and jazz quintet from Portland, Ore, which will perform in the Boot Pub.

The Boot is just one of the many faces of the Shoestring Lodge, which also contains a popular restaurant, Gaitors Bar and Grill, and The Boot Cold Beer and Wine Store.

The lodge has 46 rooms and during peak season each room can house four people in bunk beds. It’s old-style Whistler accommodation.

"We serve a niche market in Whistler, and the lodge is a good business model," said Horne.

"Not many (hostel) rooms in Whistler have en-suite bathrooms, so the complex is a kind of ‘classy hostel’ that’s been Whistler-ized."

And at $34 a night it’s a steal of a deal, considering guests can ski 5,280 vertical feet on a daily basis.

Whistler has long been known for its unbeatable outdoors, but it’s also known for some great guitar riffs and a pint. At one time, before there were loonies, beer at the Boot was sold for less than a dollar. As part of the anniversary celebration patrons will be able to enjoy old time value again.

A whole lot of music goes down at the Boot, and sometimes patrons can get a glimpse of a band soon-to-be famous.

"We paid Nickelback $400 to play at the Boot last year, and now they’re making $100,000," said the Boot’s manager Paul McNaught,

"We do assist bands, and I get loads of calls every week. I have to turn people away."

Add a comment