It’s been almost five years since I moved to Revelstoke — pretty much four years and 11 months to today, if memory is correct. I showed up as the new reporter in September 2009, six weeks after the last homecoming. I figured this would be a good chance to reflect on what’s changed in Revelstoke over the last five years.
The biggest change is the addition of a new elementary school and new high school. The construction of the two new schools over where Revelstoke Secondary School used to sit is the most noticeable change to the town. The school’s are beautiful; they almost make me want to go back to school just so I can enjoy them. Along with the schools came a new theatre that has enhanced the cultural life of the community.
Downtown has a similar feel, but it’s undergone a big turnover, with a number of new stores and restaurants replacing ones that closed down. Quite the Pair opened a second store specializing in baby clothes, then merged the two into Kidz on Main on Mackenzie Avenue. The antique store at First and Mackenzie moved into a smaller space on Connaught Avenue. Replacing it was a gift store, then Revy Outdoors, which currently occupies the prime retail space.
The flower store moved from its small space on Second Street, over to Victoria Road before finding a home on Mackenzie. In Grizzly Plaza, the space that was Revelstoke Alpine Adventures is now Garnish, a jewellery store. Next door, the candy store turned into a tea shop and is now Wildflower Wellness spa.
On First Street, ArtFirst! has given a place for local artists to show and sell their works. Next door is Beyond Gifts and just up the road is Bette’s Underthings & Clothing, a lingerie store. Another block up is Back Off the Rack, a sporting good consignment store.
There was a bit of musical chairs a few years ago that was started when Fields closed down. First the Bargain Store moved into the space vacated by Fields and changed its name to the Red Apple. Lordco then moved into the place that used to be the Bargain Store and the Dollar Store moved into the old Lordco location in the Alpine Village Mall. Meanwhile, the Source opened a store in the mall. We’d be re-miss to not mention Ray’s Butcher, on Garden Avenue next to the Legion.
Of course, there’s also a new Visitor Information Centre located on Victoria Road next door to Pharmasave.
There’s lots of new places to eat and drink. Claudio’s was sold and transformed into Isabella’s; Jus Juiced became Carrie’s Home Cafe; Little Caesar’s is now Padrino’s; Bad Paul’s is now Chubby Funster’s, a new restaurant that opened late last month; the Great White North is now the Highmark Lounge; Outabounds (formerly the Rock Pit) is now the Traverse; and the Big Eddy Pub re-opened a few years ago.
Nico’s Pizzeria opened up on First Street East, and later expanded into a new locationa a few blocks west. Chopsticks opened earlier this year, adding to the Revelstoke’s Asian offerings.
A few new cafe’s opened up — La Baguette, Sangha Bean and Twisted Annie’s — but the Chalet Bakery is no more.
You might have noticed the new Best Western Plus hotel on your way into town, but you should also check out the Cube — the boutique hostel with a design inspired by Dutch artist Piet Mondrian.
There’s been lots of development on the outdoor adventure front, thanks a great deal to the provinces resort municipality infrastructure fund. The Revelstoke Snowmobile Club built a new cabin on Boulder Mountain and completely re-did their hut on Frisby Ridge. Meanwhile, the Revelstoke Nordic Ski Club has a nice new lodge at Mount Macpherson.
The Revelstoke Cycling Association has built a number of new trails at Mount Macpherson, but its crowning achievement in the past five years is the Frisby Ridge trail – a classic that climbs gently to the alpine. The Revy Riders dirt bike club has done amazing work in the past five years too, building a new track and ever-expanding trail network on the lower flanks of Boulder Mountain and Frisby Ridge.
Development at Revelstoke Mountain Resort has slowed since 2009, but they still managed to finished two new condo buildings at the base. The three-building complex at the bottom is now called the Sutton Place Hotel, and also features the Rockford restaurant, the Mackenzie Crossing bar and an outlet of La Baguette. On the mountain, they added a new beginner area at the base, did lots of glading and made getting around the mountain much easier.
Lastly, if you turn on your radio, you’ll catch a new station on the dial — 92.5 StokeFM, which started broadcasting almost three years ago and has proven to be a hit, especially with the younger crowd. There’s also the Stoke List, which was around in 2009, but didn’t really take off until later.
And that’s just the physical changes. I could get into the new faces playing a role in the community, but then this article might never end.
I hope I didn’t miss anything.