Marc Joiner is the owner of Burridge’s

Marc Joiner is the owner of Burridge’s

Revelstoke’s ski bums that stayed

For some ski bums, it’s one winter and out. For others, a winter has turned into years and into life in Revelstoke.

We all know the tired stereotypes. They don’t shower before getting in the hot tub. They don’t shower at all. The smell. They drink and party too much. They make too much noise while walking home. They steal from Cooper’s. They steal from the food bank (this is not true). They don’t tip.

The list goes on.

But what about the ones that stayed? The ski bums that came for a bit of fun and decided Revelstoke is pretty great, so they found jobs – any jobs – and stuck around. They started volunteering and started businesses and bought homes.

They plan on staying. Here’s a few of their stories.

The business owner

Marc Joiner came to Revelstoke before Revelstoke Mountain Resort opened. He grew up in Melbourne, moved away when he was 24 and eventually wound up in Invermere, B.C., in 2006. While he was there, someone told him about this new resort they were developing in Revelstoke.

He looked it up on the map and made the move in early 2007. He skied at the Powder Springs and thought that if that little hill was so good, just imagine how much better it is up high.

“I came out to Revelstoke and skied Powder Springs,” said Joiner. “I loved the town. It was perfect. I wandered around town. Everyone was so friendly and wanted to get know you.”

He went to the visitor information centre and told them he was an electrician who was thinking about moving here. He got help finding a place to rent, finding a job and with how to get his residency. “They took me upstairs to the office and said, ‘How can we make you part of this town,'” he said.

He worked first for Burridge’s Electrical, then spent a few months wiring the gondola and Stoke Chair at Revelstoke Mountain Resort before returning to Burridge’s.

A few years later Joiner ended up taking it over from his boss Martin Greenwood. He is now the owner of one of Revelstoke’s oldest businesses – it’s been around since 1909.

“This business has basically given me my dream of being able to live in a town like this, surrounded by the people that are here, and surrounded by these beautiful mountains, and having everything I dreamed of in my early-20s at my doorstep,” he said.

Joiner credited the Greenwoods, and his original landlords, Dave and Nicole Grimsdell, with helping him get established in Revelstoke. Now he is happily married and owns a home in Columbia Park.

“I always expected I’d come here and work,” he said. “I was here to work, but the bonus is at the end of the day when you knock off you’re in the world’s best playground.”

His advice to newcomers is to make an effort to get to know the community beyond the ski resort. “I basically just had the advantage of getting in before the swarms,” he said. “That’s not an option now, but I’d say as long as you can commit to this town, you’ll be absolutely blown away about what comes back to you.”

The lawyer and the Realtor

When Brendan Ginter and Jody Lownds moved to Revelstoke in 2008, the plan was to have a bit of an adventure for six to 18 months, and then move back to Ottawa and get on with their lives.

“Jody will tell you it was her way to get me to move in with her,” joked Ginter.

Lownds, who worked as an environmental lawyer, was going to work remotely and Ginter planned on quitting his job as a sunglasses salesman for Ryder.

“We thought we would end up back in Ottawa, she would work at a big law firm somewhere, and I would find a new job,” Ginter told me.

Five years later, and that hasn’t been the case. Ginter was able to keep his job with Ryder, working around the B.C. Interior.

Then, one day, they decided to buy a house. “The overwhelming thought wasn’t buy a house so we can stay, it was let’s buy a house so we can get a dog,” said Ginter. “We got the most expensive dog house in the world.”

When they were closing the deal on the house, lawyer Connie Brothers told them how there was a big need for lawyers in Revelstoke and that Lownds should set up a practice here. Six months later, Lownds was a licensed lawyer in B.C. and set up her practice, B Jody Lownds Law.

For Ginter, it was then a matter of finding a new job that would involve spending less time on the road. He decided to follow his father’s foot steps and become a Realtor.

“In Revelstoke you have to find a job, you have to make a living,” he said. “You can’t be picky about what you do, you have to find something you can do and go with it. That’s why I chose real estate.”

They found themselves both with steady jobs, a house and two dogs, and a new life in Revelstoke. Ginter started volunteering at the food bank and with search and rescue, and he is now on the board of directors of Community Connections. Lownds is a board member with the North Columbia Environmental Society.

“It was not a plan. I think if we’d come out here with this plan, I probably wouldn’t have done it. I would have been scared,” Ginter said. “My parents would have strongly objected to us moving out west. We weren’t moving out west, we were going for adventure.”

For Ginter, the key to staying in Revelstoke is finding a good job, and not being picky about what it is. He said you shouldn’t expect to work your dream job if you want to stay here, but be flexible as to what you do. “There are people with MBAs driving trains,” he said. “There’s lots of people doing jobs they never saw themselves doing.

“If you want to stay here you have to figure something out.”

Ms. Versatility

Miranda Murphy has worked her fair share of jobs since moving to Revelstoke in 2007. She was a lifty, gladed runs at the resort, did landscaping, worked for Selkirk Tangiers, was an operations assistant for the Ministry of Forests, and has done a bunch of other small jobs. This winter she will be working for CMH.

“I’ve had to do courses and network and spend a lot of time to get where I am in the community,” she told me. “I’m currently doing distance education upgrading for accounting so I’m expecting to start a student position full-time in the next year.”

Murphy first came to Revelstoke the year before the resort opened. A native of White Fish Falls, Ont., she was attending Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ont., when her and some friends came out west on a ski trip.

A year later she decided to move out west and finish her schooling online while being a ski bum.

“It was supposed to be a season, possibly two,” she said. “Somewhere else to finish university other than at a school while doing something fun.

“My claim to fame is I was running the gondola on opening day.”

After her first winter, she went back home to do horseback guiding. She got injured on her third day on the job, got bored sitting around, and decided to come back to Revelstoke and experience the summer. “Then I didn’t leave anymore,” she said.

“I think the thing that brought me here and made me decide to stay over other towns with ski hills is Revelstoke was a town first,” she said. “It was a foggy, snowy week in March in winter 2007. The town was so magical and all the little shops and the community was amazing. And there was sushi.”

Finding ways to make a living here proved difficult. As mentioned, she worked many different jobs to make ends meet, all the while completing her education. She now owns a house in town too.

“People always talk about how hard it is but sometimes you have to do it and make it work, and its fantastic being locked in and getting to stay,” she said.

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A medical worker prepares vials of the COVID-19 vaccines, Chinese Sinopharm, left, Sputnik V, center, and Pfizer at a vaccine centre, in the Usce shopping mall in Belgrade, Serbia, Thursday, May 6, 2021. Serbian authorities are looking for incentives for people to boost vaccination that has slowed down in recent weeks amid widespread anti-vaccination and conspiracy theories in the Balkan nation. The government has also promised a payment of around 25 euros to everyone who gets vaccinated by the end of May. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
38 new COVID-19 cases, more than 335k vaccines administered in Interior Health

Interior Health also to start targeted vaccinations in high transmission neighbourhoods

FILE PHOTO
Second doses of COVID-19 vaccine will be available, as AstraZeneca supply runs low: Interior Health

Province expecting large volumes of Pfizer BioNTech as age-based cohort immunization program ramps up

Greg Nesteroff and Eric Brighton, the historians behind popular Facebook page Lost Kootenays, are set to release a book of the same name and have just unveiled its cover showing the ghostly Hotel in Slocan City shortly before its 1953 demolition. Photo courtesy of Greg Nesteroff and Eric Brighton.
Popular historical Facebook page Lost Kootenays set to release book

128-page hard copy documenting history of East and West Kootenays coming this fall

Revelstoke’s Mayor Gary Sulz getting his COVID-19 vaccination on April 5. (Jocelyn Doll - Revelstoke Review)
Revelstoke is leading B.C.’s interior on vaccinations: Interior Health

Approximately 70% of the community has first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

Revelstoke Fire Rescue Services responded to a fire at the Revelstoke Community Energy Corporation site Feb. 11, 2021. It was the fourth fire at the facility since it was built in 2005. (Revelstoke Fire Rescue Services photo)
Future uncertain for City of Revelstoke owned company

RCEC is using a backup system to provide heating after a fire forced the facility offline

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Officials are surveying the streets of Vernon to get a better sense of the issue of homelessness in the city, as part of the province’s point-in-time homeless count for 2021. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Province conducts homeless count in Vernon

It’s the first time Vernon has been included in the provincial homeless count

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A map showing where the most number of cases were recorded from April 23 to 29. This map, revealing a breakdown of infections by neighborhood, was pulled from a data package leaked to the Vancouver Sun last week (and independently verified).
36 Abbotsford schools flagged for COVID-19 exposures in the last 2 weeks, shattering record

Clearbrook Elementary recorded an ‘exposure’ on all 11 school days

A proposed development would see two four-storey affordable housing complexes erected on Adair Street in Armstrong, next to the Nor-Val Arena. (Google Maps)
Local tenants to be prioritized for Armstrong affordable housing project

Staff have drafted an expression of interest to find a developer to move forward with on the project

Canada’s chief public health officer is reminding Canadians even those who are fully vaccinated are not immune from transmitting the COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns full vaccination does not equal full protection from COVID-19

Post-inoculation, Theresa Tam says the risk of asymptomatic infection and transmission is far lower but not obsolete

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Kelowna OK Tire closed due to COVID-19 exposure

The business will remain closed until May 11

The dash cam footage, taken May 7 at 8:18 a.m. belonged to the driver of a southbound vehicle that recently travelled out of the tunnel. (Reddit/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Dash cam captures dramatic rollover crash on Highway 99

Only one person sustained injuries from the collision, says B.C. Ambulance Services

Most Read