Everything Revelstoke had its grand opening last weekend. The new business, located right at the corner of First and Mackenzie, bills itself as an adventure booking centre and is partnering with several dozen hotels and tour operators to offer a one-stop-shop to tourists.
“We thought it was a natural step to have one office in town specifically geared towards selling what Revelstoke has to offer and what makes Revelstoke so rad,” said manager Rich Eden at the opening on Friday.
Everything Revelstoke is an extension of the Revelstoke Connection shuttle service, which was launched in 2009 by Brydon Roe, John Lennard and Eden. The shuttle provides daily service between Revelstoke and Kelowna Airport.
The new storefront, which was designed by Mark Campbell of Basil Waits Creative Media, will provide a link between tourists in Revelstoke and the many partners. The store features several displays highlighting the activities available, a TV showcasing adventure movies, and a Kona mountain bike hosted onto the wall.
Everything Revelstoke will take a commission from each booking, but won’t charge customers extra, said Roe.
“That is the difference between us and the tourism information centre,” he said. “We’re specifically geared towards selling these products and we actively pursue that.”
Amongst the activity providers Everything Revelstoke is working with are Revelstoke Mountain Resort, Eagle Pass Heliskiing, Selkirk-Tangiers Heliskiing, Natural Escapes Kayaking, Apex Rafting, Wandering Wheels, the Revelstoke Golf Club, Refinery Day Spa, Revelstoke Paragliding and many more.
“If you can’t afford a store front or have the resources to create one, we’re your storefront. That’s the concept,” said Roe.
We talked to a few of the activity providers at the opening on Friday. Some have been around for decades, others are brand new.
Apex Rafting has been plying the waters of the Illecillewaet River since 1993.
“We came here from the river,” Debbie Koerber told me. She and her husband Ralph were working in Golden when the opportunity came up to start guiding people out of Revelstoke.
The company, owned by Ralph and Debbie Koerber, takes thrill seekers for whitewater rafting trips down a 24-kilometre stretch of the river from Albert Canyon to the Greeley Area east of Revelstoke.
“It’s just so pretty. It’s got good whitewater,” said Ralph. “All the foliage – there’s a lot of trees, great mountains, great scenery. It’s not a real busy river like the Kicking Horse with seven or eight companies on it. You don’t see many people except the odd kayaker.”
The 3–4 hour rafting run is a mix of class two and three whitewater, which Debbie said is challenging, “but everyone can do it.”
“It’s exciting just enough to scare you without being dangerous.”
Apex Rafting offers trips daily during June, and twice a day in July and August. For more information, visit www.apexrafting.com.
Boutique Bike Tours
Boutique Bike Tours is a new business run by Marco Pertici and Inga Legowiecka that will be offering road bike tours from Revelstoke to Nelson.
“Inga’s been designing trips in Europe, in Italy, and now she’s put this one together,” Pertici said. “It’s called the Far West Kootenay Tour.”
The trips will be lead by Legowiecka, who was in Europe when I spoke to Pertici. The trip will start with a climb up the Meadows in the Sky Parkway in Mount Revelstoke National Park on day one. Day two will travel south to Halcyon Hot Springs. From there, the tour will go to Nakusp, New Denver, Kaslo and, finally Nelson, where the riders will take a shuttle back to Revelstoke.
The average day consists of about 70 kilometres of biking.
“We’re pretty excited about it,” said Pertici. “She’s done amazing tours in Europe. This one is completely different to Europe. This is more about the mountains, the space. In Europe you go from town to town and it’s all about the food. Here it’s all about the space, the feel of the Kootenays – a bit hippy, a bit pioneering.”
Visit www.everythingrevelstoke.com/activities/kootenays-bike-tour for more information.
Revelstoke Paragliding was launched by pilots Scott Watwood, Alan Polster and Chris Delworth as a way to take people on tandem flights from the top of Mt. Mackenzie.
“The ski hill was looking for tandem paragliding operation to add a little colour and variety to the ski hill,” said Polster. They approached Watwood, who had a paragliding business in Golden, B.C., and Watwood asked Polster and Delworth if they would be interested in taking part.
“We both realized it wasn’t going to be our full-time profession,” said Polster. “We couldn’t quit our day jobs but we could do it and have fun with it and introduce a lot of people to flying and paragliding.”
Polster has been flying for almost 20 years – most of them out of Revelstoke – and giving tandem flights for the past seven. On a good day, with nice weather and a good lift, a tandem flight will go from the top of Revelstoke Mountain Resort over to Mt. Revelstoke or Mt. Cartier. “It gives them a good view of the whole surrounding area.”
On a bad day, they simply fly down to the valley – a trip that takes about 20–25 minutes. “When you’re a novice, 25 minutes in the air is a lot.”
Their website, www.revelstokeparagliding.com has photos, video, and information about flying for visiting pilots.
Wandering Wheels is a new mountain bike guiding company started this year by Matt Yaki.
“The idea came from constantly having to rely on friends and other people that have shuttle vehicles for me to go up in the mountains to go biking,” he said. “I just wanted to provide a service for other people to make it more accessible for other people to go out and ride trails.”
Yaki has been biking for most of his life and has been mountain biking with a fervour since moving to Revelstoke four years ago.
“The trails at Mt. Macpherson are comparable to anywhere else in the province for a local trail network, and then you throw in the alpine trails, the Boulder downhill network. It’s incredible,” he said.
To start, Yaki has been offering weeknight shuttle rides at the Boulder Mountain downhill trail network. $35 gets you three hours of riding of your choice.
He will also be offering trips to many of the epic trails in the surrounding area, including Salmon Arm, Golden, and the West Kootenays. His favorite trail is Keystone-Standard Basin.
“I would have to say Keystone holds a special place in my heart for sure and it’s just a great ride,” he said. “All different kinds of terrain and amazing scenery.”
For more information, visit www.wanderingwheels.ca.