Best Of Whistler 2013 - Shops & Wares 

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  • Best Ski Shop / Bike Shop / Customer Service: Fanatyk Co. Meet some of the Fanatyk Co team - best ski shop, bike shop, and customer service.

Best Ski Shop:

Fanatyk Co

The staff at Fanatyk Co Ski & Cycle swears they didn't pressure all their friends and family to vote for them in this year's reader poll; they're just that good.

The village store not only took home the hardware for Best Ski Shop this year, but also won for  Best Customer Service and  Best Bike Shop.

It's rare that a store can do all things well, but co-owner Kevin Kobayashi said Fanatyk Co's success in both skiing and biking is a result of the immense passion his employees have for the products and services they offer.

"Everyone working here has been in the industry forever and we all take it real personal, and take a lot of pride in being the best in our field for bikes and for skiing," he said. "It's not just about working at a cool place, or getting lots of riding or skiing in, it's also about having some pride in being the best."

In the ski shop category, Skiis & Biikes came in second, with Summit Sport third.

Voters had a similar opinion in the bike shop category, with Skiis & Biikes and Summit Sport finishing second and third again.

Best Boot Fitter:

Adrian McGee at Fanatyk Co

Best Bike Tech:

Adrian McGee at Fanatyk Co

Fanatyk Co's Adrian McGee, who was voted as Whistler's Best Bike Tech and Boot Fitter in 2013, is a pretty humble guy — except when it comes to his luscious head of hair, a ponytail that goes down well past his shoulders.

"It's the hair obviously," McGee joked, when asked what separates him from the other ski and bike techs in town. "I figure this was a popularity contest, but I didn't think I was that popular."

To the thousands of shredheads and two-wheel junkies that live or visit Whistler each year, McGee is clearly a pretty popular guy, sharing his expertise and dedication no matter the season. And besides, it keeps him employed all year-round.

"I've got to do something in winter and summer, so I might as well be good at it, or at least try to be," he added.

Sam MacDonald at Surefoot placed second in the boot fitter category, with long-time local and business owner, George McConkey at McCoo's Excessive Accessories taking third.

James Barrett, owner of The Fix since 2006, placed second in the bike tech category, with Matty Richard from Skii's n' Biikes coming in at third.

Best Snowboard Shop:


To be selected as the best snowboard shop in a town full of snowboard shops is quite the honour.

Dethroning 2011 and '12 winner Showcase, which placed second in this year's poll, high-end boutique Evolution was named as this year's best place to meet all your boarding needs. It's a commitment to the region's shred culture that sets the store apart, in the eyes of owner Jenni Bourbonnais.

"I think we represent the culture of snowboarding rather than just being a retail store," she said. "We obviously have brands that reflect the Northwest Coast culture, and have products that are functional and fun."

Prior Snowboards and Skis came third.

Best Skateboard Shop:

Sk8 Cave

The Sk8 Cave in Function Junction has only been around for a little over a year, but is already earning plaudits across the community, winning Best Skateboard Shop for the first time.

Along with a wide selection of skate products and clothes, the store offers a winter haven for skaters with an indoor mini-ramp on location. Owner Chris Charlebois is also planning a bigger mini-ramp that will be set up outside the store for the spring.

Evolution and Circle rounded out the list, coming in at second and third respectively.

Best Shop for Clothing:

The Beach

The Facebook page for The Beach touts the village location as "Whistler's Best Clothing Store." Evidently, they're not the only ones who think so after winning this year's poll.

Around since 1994 when it was known as Beach or Bust, the store moved to a bigger and better location on Main Street to serve up beach culture to the winter junkies of Whistler.

The Beach sells the hottest in men's and women's fashion, footwear and, of course, swimwear.

Snowboard, ski and surf shop Showcase won second, with Aritzia rounding out the list.

Best Realtor:

Shauna O'Callaghan

In Whistler's competitive real estate sector, one has to work hard to stick out from the crowd.

And that's just what realtor Shauna O'Callaghan has strived to accomplish in her years of experience specializing in Whistler real estate, coupled with her background in hotel marketing and management.

"I don't try and do the volume approach so it's a little bit more hands-on with a lot of attention to detail," she said. "I'm really grateful to my clients and friends who've showed up to support me for the last 15 years in this crazy, fun business," she said.

O'Callaghan spent more than a decade with Whistler Real Estate Company, earning a slew of industry awards before moving to Canada's largest realtor network, Macdonald Realty in 2008.

Whistler Real Estate Company's Carolyn Hill and Hannah Garcia of Thornhill Real Estate tied for second place.

Best Law Firm:

Race & Co.

For the past six years Race and Company's Sholto Shaw has been recognized by Whistlerites as the resort's best lawyer. This year, his firm earns its own accolade, taking home the prize in the first year of the award.

Race and Company specializes in business, personal and family law, and is well regarded for work in injury claims of all kinds.

Mountain Law came second, while Double Diamond Law came third.

Best Jewelry Store:

Ruby Tuesday

Located in the heart of the village, Ruby Tuesday offers designer earrings, necklaces, rings and accessories for any occasion. The store also sells a variety of stylish handbags, belts and hair accessories.

Keir Fine Jewelry, specializing in Canadian diamonds and unique ammonite fossil pieces, came second, with Rocks and Gems, specializing in products made of stone, such as crystals and mineral specimens, came third.

Best Grocery Store:

Nesters Market

More than just a grocery store, return winner Nesters Market is a popular community hub, and an essential part of the Whistler fabric, and assistant store manager Ian Fairweather wouldn't have it any other way.

"For us it's really great to be a part of this community, he said. "It's probably half the pleasure of the store and I think that's why we've done well, and why (the public) is so happy with the store."

Both the Marketplace IGA and Creekside Market repeated their results from last year, finishing in second and third place, respectively.

Best Adventure Tour:


There's no shortage of adventure to be found in Whistler, so to be singled out once again is quite the honour for Ziptrek Eco Tours.

Highly regarded as a world leader in the design and operation of zipline-based eco-tours, Ziptrek combines exhilarating above-the-tree adventure with environmental education.

Operating its flagship Whistler location since 2002, Ziptrek has since expanded into New Zealand, with another location planned to open in Mount Tremblant this summer.

Runners-up this year were The Adventure Group Whistler, which offers a number of adventure-based activities in the resort, and Canadian Wilderness Adventures, with snowmobile, dogsled, canoe tours and more.

Best Financial Institution (Bank/Mortgage):

TD Bank

Whistler's TD Bank staff is clearly doing something right, taking home honours for Best Financial Institution for the third year in a row.

The Marketplace location offers full-service banking, including loans, mortgages, credit lines and investment and saving products.

RBC Royal Bank came in second again this year, with Scotiabank rounding out the list.

Best Place for Deals:

ReUse It Centre

With the cost of living in Whistler, it's nice to get a deal every once in a while, and the best place for a bargain in the resort, as voted by readers for the third year in a row, should come as no surprise.

Local's favourite The Re-Use-It Centre has been the go-to spot for used items of all kinds — from ski gear to electronics to rare art prints, and everything in between — since opening its doors 13 years ago. What's more is 75 per cent of proceeds from sales at the Function Junction shop go towards funding Whistler Community Services Society programs.

Ski and bike shop Fantayk Co came second, while Summit Sport and The Gap tied for third.

Best Store for Browsing and Exploring:


Browsing a store for that special item you won't find anywhere else is often half the fun of the shopping experience. For anyone that's set foot in Celebrate's brick and mortar location on Main Street, you quickly realize how easy it is to get lost exploring their selection of unique gifts, sensory care items, homeware, stationary and more.

Jewelry store Rocks and Gems came second in voting and the Re-Use It Centre placed third.

Best Mortgage Broker:

Eileen Craig

Getting a home can be one of the most rewarding feelings a person will experience in their adult lives, but it can also be an arduous, stressful process like few others. With the help of dedicated mortgage specialists, like Eileen Craig, who was named as the resort's top mortgage broker this year, Whistler property owners can breathe a bit easier.

"I really care about my clients and I try to go the extra mile to get what they want," said Craig, who works for Garibaldi Mortgage specializing in mortgage services for residents and non-residents.

Karen Garrett of Dominion Lending Centre Sea to Sky Mortgages came second, and Garibaldi Mortgage's Annie De La Chevrotiere was third.

Best Automotive Shop:

Local Automotive

Function Junction's Local Automotive took home Best Automotive Shop for the first year of the category.

Whistler's only auto repair shop open seven days a week, Local Automotive has a reputation for high-quality craftsmanship, fair prices, and an honest, customer-service oriented approach to business.

"We really appreciate our customers voting us 'No.1,'" said owner-operator Steven Turner.

"We have such a great team here, and we have always been focused on customer service and quality workmanship. I feel like this honour reflects that and we are really excited."

Mike's Garage and SMD Automotive, both located in Function, came in second and third place, respectively.

Best Overnight Accommodation:

Four Seasons

The best hotels know how to spoil their guests, and now Whistlerites are returning the favour, naming Four Seasons as the Best Overnight Accommodation in the first year of this category.

Nestled at the foot of Blackcomb, Four Seasons is a world-class luxury hotel that combines the small-town charm of the mountains with ineffable modern European elegance.

With 273 luxurious rooms, there's something for everyone. And, after a day on the slopes, guests can unwind in the outdoor courtyard pool, eucalyptus steam room and glacier rain showers, or get a quick workout in at the 24-hour fitness facilities.

Fairmont Chateau Whistler was the runner-up, while campground Riverside Resort came third.

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